This week’s main article will be a review of Douglas Blackmon’s book Slavery By Another Name, which tells the story of how involuntary servitude was re-established in the South after Reconstruction and lasted until World War II.
I’m kind of amazed that I didn’t hear about this book when it came out in 2008, or when it won the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction in 2009, or even when PBS made a documentary from it in 2012. (As I tell my friends about it, I’ve been waiting for somebody to say, “Where have you been? Everybody knows about that.” So far nobody has.) I think it’s an important piece of American history to understand, and it throws a whole new light on the story of race in America. We’re used to thinking about the blacks who marched with Martin Luther King as the grandchildren of slaves. But probably some of them had been slaves themselves, except that it wasn’t called “slavery” by then.
Another article will talk about recent labor developments in sports, especially the surprising ruling that Northwestern’s football players are employees who have the right to form a union. Also worth knowing about: the lawsuit the Raiderette cheerleaders have filed against the Oakland Raiders, and why there’s likely to be another baseball strike in 2016. (Due to a screw-up on my part — I thought I posted the teaser hours ago — this is already up.)
In the weekly summary, today is the ObamaCare deadline (sort of), which has inspired a variety of how-is-it-working stories. The Supreme Court heard arguments about ObamaCare’s contraception mandate and how it conflicts with corporations’ freedom of religion. The Christie administration’s Bridgegate investigation concluded that Gov. Christie has done nothing wrong. An appeals court found Texas’ new abortion restrictions constitutional, contradicting another appeals court and setting up a Supreme Court case. The Religious Right has decided Disney’s Frozen is gay propaganda. And a bunch of other stuff.
The sports-labor article will be first, within the hour. The book review still needs some work, so I’m not putting a time on that. And then the weekly summary.