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22

W E D N E S D A Y

Slavery and its progeny aren’t as far in the past as we would like to believe. My great-grandfather was a sharecropper who spent his whole life working land he would never own, for “wages” he didn’t agree to. His children, who worked alongside him many days, are still living. Pete Daniel, a curator at the Museum of American History and author of The Shadow of Slavery: Peonage in the South, 1901-1969, will discuss modern American slavery—from sharecroppers to mistreated migrant workers. And just because the book stops at 1969 doesn’t mean there was no more forced labor. As late as 1981, a case was successfully brought against a group of people who forced a sick migrant worker to continue working, beating him and preventing him from leaving, resulting in his death. The reason this isn’t better known is because many folks don’t want to know. It kind of throws the idea that we’re living in a democracy. At noon at the National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Rd., College Park. FREE. (202) 501-5000. (HB)