Convict Leasing in Alabama: a System That Re-Enslaved Blacks After the Civil War

The post-Civil War convict leasing program, rarely covered in textbooks, is the focus of a lesson that asks class members to use information drawn from primary source documents to assess the program. While the focus is on Alabama's convict leasing program, other states engaged in the practice as well.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups research current convict leasing programs
Classroom Considerations

  • The activity presumes class members have experience analyzing primary source documents and know how to draw inferences from them
  • The 2012 PBS film of Douglas Blackmon's 2009 Pultizer Prize winning book, Slavery by Another Name, is available on the Internet

  • The seven-page packet includes background information about convict leasing programs, links to primary source documents and Blackmon's film, step-by-step plans, and a rubric for the writing assignment

  • None