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Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South$
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Amy Louise Wood and Natalie J. Ring

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042409

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042409.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Sewing and Spinning for the State

Sewing and Spinning for the State

Incarcerated Black Female Garment Workers in the Jim Crow South

Chapter:
(p.130) Chapter 6 Sewing and Spinning for the State
Source:
Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South
Author(s):

Talitha L. LeFlouria

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042409.003.0006

details the experiences of African American women prisoners in Tennessee and Alabama in contract labor systems. They were put to work making garments for the apparel industry, an industry they were excluded from outside prison walls. This chapter demonstrates that the state could tolerate the crossing of racial and gender boundaries as long as such transgressions were managed within penitentiaries and served the economic demands of penal institutions. It also shows that black female convicts’ labor was essential to the economic prosperity of the Jim Crow penal system, and that it contributed to the economic modernization of the New South.

Keywords:   Jim Crow, African American women, prisoners, penitentiaries, convict labor, industry, New South, modernization

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