This Scam Enslaved Many Free Black People

Man with chains on his arms
Via Pixabay
Leslie Taylor-Grover
September 25, 2020

Elias Brown, Jr. was a free Black man during slavery. He and his family were making their own way in the world, and he had just taken a job as a handyman for a white couple. 

Everything seemed wonderful – but there was a catch.

Unfortunately, Brown had been the victim of a cruel scam designed to sell free Black people back into enslavement! How did this scam work?

Black people in free states would be offered work, but instead would be taken to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and SOLD. This is exactly what happened to Brown. But his story wasn’t over.

He convinced the man he was sold to that he was actually free. The man, angry that he had been scammed, pursued Brown’s fake “employer.” 

The scammer eventually went to jail! Brown was finally reunited with his mother, who after finding out her son had been stolen began to suffer from severe mental illness. But his story teaches us one thing.

Our liberation CANNOT be taken for granted. For centuries, racists have devised ways to keep us oppressed and subservient to them – and when we get free, they devise ways to re-ensnare us! 

They see our power and they know exactly who we are: a mighty people! We must keep our wits about us and persevere to win and keep our liberation.

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