Since Reconstruction, states have leased prisoners to US industries. That diminished in the 20th century, but now it's resurging, with prisoners leased to harvest food for American consumers.
Henry W. Grady wanted to promote northern investment in the South – and he was willing to ignore lynchings and the exploitation of black labor.
Enslaved workers used to grow cotton and mill flour. Now prisoners grind beef and crate eggs. Here, a historian explores Americans' troubling habit of consuming the products of slave labor.