"Living and Laboring off the Grid: Black Women Prisoners and the Making of the 'Modern' South, 1865-1920"
The UCLA Center for the Study of Women presents the series "New Directions in Black Feminist Studies." Talitha LeFlouria will examine the lived and laboring experiences of imprisoned African-American women in the post-Civil War South, and describe how black female convict labor was used to help construct “New South” modernity.
In this talk, there will be an in-depth examination of the lived and
laboring experiences of imprisoned African-American women in the
post-Civil War South, and describe how black female convict labor was
used to help construct “New South” modernity. Georgia—the “industrial
capital” of the region—will be used as a case study, to analyze how
African-American women’s presence within the convict lease and chain
gang systems of the “empire state” helped modernize the “New South,” by
creating a new and dynamic set of occupational burdens and competencies
for black women that were untested in the free labor market. In addition
to discussing how the parameters of southern black women’s working
lives were redrawn by the carceral state, the hidden and explicit modes
of resistance female prisoners used to counter work-related abuses, as
well as physical and sexualized violence will be accounted for.
Talitha LeFlouria is Assistant Professor of History at
Florida Atlantic University. She specializes in the study of black women
and convict labor in the post-Civil War South. Her research was
featured in the Sundance award-nominated documentary, Slavery by Another Name, based on Douglas Blackmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book on convict labor in the southern states. Her book, Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South,
is in production with The University of North Carolina Press, Justice,
Power, and Politics series, and is slated for publication in spring of
Published: Wednesday, February 25, 2015