KNOWLEDGE DROP: Slavery Still Exists Tee


Brand Tunnel Vision

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Knowledge Drop: Slavery Still Exists Tee


Black or white tee with red print on front reading:


  • 1619: British privateers seize 19 enslaved African people and bring them to the U.S. to be sold into servitude
  • 1860: 4 million enslaved people are forced to work in inhumane and tortuous conditions in the US
  • 1865: the 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”
  • 1865-1866: in an effort to recover labor lost during Emancipation, southern states enact “Black Codes” regulating the activity of Black citizens, including make interracial relationships and working outside of farming or servitude illegal; violation of these Black Codes were punishable with arrest and subsequent forced plantation labor, often in the same slavery-era jobs they had just escaped
  • 1866-1869: states begin increase incarceration levels and lease out convicts into forced labor with no oversight, resulting in extremely poor work conditions with inhumane abuse for prisoners
  • 1924-1936: in an effort to limit the exploitation of prisoners for free or cheap labor, Congress introduces the Ashurst-Sumners and Walsh-Healy Acts, limiting the reach of prison labor and the transfer of items made with prison-labor across state lines.
  • 1979: Congress passes new laws overthrowing Ashurst-Sumners and Walsh-Healy, allowing for prison-made products to be widely manufactured and distributed once again
  • 1980s: Ronald Reagan declares his “War on Drugs”, resulting in a 500% increase in incarceration
  • 1990s: companies like Victoria’s Secret, Microsoft, Nintendo, AT&T, Dell, Eddie Bauer, K-Mart, Macy’s, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Revlon, JC Penney, Sprint, Honda, Nordstrom, Texas Instruments, and Starbucks use prison labor, paying between $0.25-$0.40 per hour on average, with some people making $500 per year for full-time work
  • 2000s: courts uphold that prisoners do not need to be paid for their labor, pursuant to the 13th Amendment, and are paid by “the grace of the state”, at wages ranging from $0.23-$1.15 per hour on average
  • 2010s: the US incarceration rates remain the highest in the world, housing only 5% of the world’s population but 21% of all globally incarcerated individuals; 45.9% of prisoners incarcerated in the US are there due to drug offenses; despite using drugs at the same rate regardless of race, Black people in the U.S. are nearly 6x as likely to be incarcerated for drug-related charges
  • 2020: 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the US; prison labor is prominent, with some states like Arizona even requiring that all able-bodied inmates work, without any guarantee or promise of wages, mimicking forced slavery of the 1800s
Part of our Knowledge Drop collection -- pieces sold at cost with $0 profit to spread the word!

Tunnel Vision on sweatshop-free Bella & Canvas tee

This item is sizes in traditional men's sizing.