Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm And The Ordeal Of Jim Crow Justice: Book Analysis

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Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice, was written by David M. Oshinsky in the attempt to explain why after the Emancipation Proclamation and the freeing of black slaves, that black people still weren’t a hundred percent free and that the treatment they faced after slavery was much worse than slavery itself. In the book Oshinsky starts off in the Prologue by talking about the Parchman Farm. According to Oshinsky, “Parchman is the quintessential penal farm, the closest thing to slavery that survived the civil war”(1). And throughout the book he talks about the running’s of the Parchman farm and what all goes on in it. While what went on in the Parchman farm made up majority of the book, the major findings of this book that will …show more content…
Parchman was built and founded by James K. Vardaman and according to Oshinsky, “Parchman would become a monument to Missippi’s White Chief─ a huge penal farm in the Delta for blacks who had “lost” their way” (109). Parchman as Oshinsky described was a plantation that was divided into fifteen field camps that was segregated only by race and sex, not age. He also describes the treatment they faced as horrific. Oshinsky explains that the Parchman slaves had to work all day in the hottest part of summer, and had only thirty minutes to eat scraps in the heat. The convicts also faced a horrendous beating for no reason on plenty occasions. But the food that the convicts were getting was one of the worst parts. According to Oshinsky it was called weevil food because, “The stuff was full of bugs and worms. The only way I could eat it was to crumple my corn bread on top so I wouldn’t see those things crawling around” (43). There was plenty more that went on in the Parchman farm but way too much to be discussed. Overall it can be said that Parchman was another way to enslave blacks and torture

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