Since ex-Slaves were not able to read, the White man read the contract to them but left out certain important pieces of information and certain lies were added that would enslave them for life. For example, only after signing were the victims told that they had
agreed to be locked up in the stockade at night or any other time and were not free to do anything but what was commanded of them. In effect, they sold themselves into slavery and were helpless to do anything about it since White folks had all the courts, all the guns, all the blood hounds, and all the money while ex-Slaves only had ignorance and their empty hands.
When several men were collected —and there were some Black females who were treated no differently (which made the Black males’ blood boil)-- they were transported in big wagons to remote areas, like big plantations. By using tickets or orders, and never money, all were required to buy, at extremely high prices, their supplies (e.g. food, clothing, etc) from that owner’s store. However, each free laborer was paid only $5 or $10 per year and this meant at the end of the year each was left in great debt to the store—at an amount stated by the lying White man. Under the unspoken threat of “life or limb,” no Negro was dumb enough to dispute the White man’s word, despite being lied to (Meltzer 135). At the end of the 10 years of required peonage the Negroes were told they had to sign an acknowledgment of their debts. They wanted to leave so badly that they eagerly signed their mark—an “X.” Then they were immediately locked up and told they had just agreed to continue with hard labor work until all the debt was paid off. Since this could never happen, these Negroes were now lifetime Slaves—or peons—and dealt with in the manner of convicts.
Meanwhile, the White man and his White crew used the enslaved Negroes’ wives as their mistresses and often gave the peon’s children away. (Ref: Bailey, “Special” Minds Among Struggling Black Americans)
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