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Is Peonage Dead?

July 2024
1min read

Our readers may recall the horrifying newspaper stories last year when some twenty-five migratory farm workers were found murdered and buried in California peach orchards. Then, this January two men were indicted in Columbia, South Carolina, on charges of holding nine other farm workers in peonage and involuntary servitude. It was alleged that the accused, operators of a migrant crew, charged the workers exorbitant prices for everything from soap to cigarettes and then forcibly detained them until the debts were paid. An interesting detail, and historically quite a switch, is that the victims were white and the alleged slave masters black.

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