Picture postcard of a North Carolina Convict Camp

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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The 13th amendment to the United States' Constitution that prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude makes an exception for convicted prisoners. Together with a justice system that disproportionately targets people of color, it has allowed for the forced labor of predominantly non-white people to continue in the U.S. to this day. This postcard photograph of a North Carolina convict camp is an example of the racial disparity in forced prison labor. In a group of 70 uniformed convicts only four are white, while the guards are all white.

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