The history ...
How African Americans were treated after the civil war
The history of the
black people in America who passed through oppression and all kind of
dehumanization was emphasized by members of the black community, who founded
Black History Month. The likes of Carter G. Woodson studied the history and
came up with the foundation to overcome discrimination as well as inspiring and
promoting the black community in their day to day lives. The press that was
formed was used as a documentary for the blacks, and it gave voice to the black
people who were ignored in larger presses. Freedom's Journal was the first to
be established in 1827 by John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish who were the first
black men to graduate from college. All the current events and editorials
against lynching, slavery, and other injustices were reported in the journal,
and they all brought attention to the larger press that black people had
realized the injustices and they are fighting for their rights.
As it was published in
most of the past journals and articles, African Americans lives were transformed
after slavery. Challenges like wages, legal marriages, and denial of education,
relocation, ownership of homes, sexual assaults and whipping were now gone, and
therefore the race celebrated the freedom in both public and private jubilees.
Things did not turn as expected to the race, just as Samuel says in his
journal; the white race did not stop demeaning the black race (Tindall 22).
Laws like Black codes were instituted to convince the black race that they were
considered in the ruling but also it dictated that the white race had power
over them as they were expected to testify against them, serve them and even
the state militaries. Under contrary, one would have expected a fair treatment
and appreciation of the black community as they had helped a lot especially in
the provision of non-skilled labor. There was a need to make the white race
understand that the black race was just as human as they are and they could be
more productive if they were given total freedom to be independent of any other
force other than the constitution.
Many black survivors
have testified how they were supposed to sign annual labor contracts with white
land owners who would arrest them if they did not cooperate. It was not what
the race had expected after being saved from the slavery of the colonialists
and now being a slave for your fellow countryman because of the skin color.
They lived desperately in rural areas surrounded by poverty, and therefore the
only option they had was to rent lands from the white slave owners and sharing
then harvest with the owners. It would be right if the white race was on the
front row to help their fellow brothers to acquire homes, education and better
wages but it is the vice versa. A discussion that was done by the black
representatives brought a point that after the civil wars, the former slaves
seized land from the slave owners and the effort by the Republicans in progress
to give land to the slaves were not considered (Tindall 41).
The lives of the
blacks were centered in their families, schools, and churches as the black
women had no better option other than being homemakers. The church became the
main center of the black’s culture and the community in general because apart
from worshiping from there, it acted as a center for socializing, learning and
political organizing (Du Bois 7). The black ministers acted as the community
leaders, and they gave the community the purpose and direction to live as well
representing them in the larger press. Through their persistence and effort,
the America A Narrative history have recorded that over three thousand schools
and health care facilities were set up to cater for the rapid increase in the
desire for education (Tindall 56).
However, speeches that
were given by Frederick Douglass and Wendell Phillips from the meeting that was
held by the antislavery society are evidence of the debate that was held over
the reconstruction policies. Frederick and Phillips being abolitionists, called
for the full citizenship of the African-American race as well as justice.
Phillips criticizes a very executive branch by saying that it was ready to
admit the southern states as long as the white men were allowed to keep the
inside constitution, not to be criticized legally. On the other hand, to put
the blacks in a place where no abolitionist was willing to see them (Homburger
49). On the other hand, Douglass claims that "practically enslaves the
Negro, and makes the Proclamation of 1863 a mockery and delusion." He is
in fear that the federal government would be treated as the ruling force by the
southerners and therefore he preferred the enfranchisement of blacks as
protection from the insurrection.
The rights of the
African Americans were passed during the period of reconstruction which was a
provision for political and civil rights. Abolition of slavery, right to vote
and the rights of the citizenship of America were some of the notable
amendments that were made to the constitution of America. By doing this, the
blacks were given hope that they would have better lives in future as they
would be treated just like any other American citizen. They would take up their
rights, responsibilities, and opportunities actively as citizens as they were
elected to serve in public offices, take part in senatorial seats and members of
the House of Representatives (Hill 19). Very many were appointed in government
jobs, and this was a guarantee that the American government was determined in
changing their face of life. Although the discrimination of the African
Americans is still taking place on several occasions, the steps that were taken
by the government gave the race a strong foundation, and most of them are very
successful, and even they are taking over in sectors like the entertainment
industry. The development is an indication that black American and nothing less
than the white Americans; they are all equal and deserve equal treatment.
Du Bois, William
Edward Burghardt. Black
Reconstruction in America: Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played
in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860-1880. Transaction
Hill, Constance Valis. Tap dancing America: A cultural
history. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Homburger, Julian R.,
et al. "Genomic insights into the ancestry and demographic history of
South America." PLoS
Genet 11.12 (2015): e1005602.
Tindall, George Brown,
and David E. Shi. America: A
narrative history. WW Norton & Company, 2016.