Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There's A Name For What's Happened To Black People

"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the 19th century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave-trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves would be taken to Louisville to be "sold down the river" and transported to the cotton plantations in states further south.

In his 2010 history of the Mississippi River, Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild journalist Lee Sandlin said "the threat of being 'sold down the river' was seen as tantamount to a death sentence."

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