Black Leaders During Reconstruction - American Civil …

In 1967, almost a century after Hiram Revels and Blanche Bruce served in the U.S. Senate during Reconstruction, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts became the first African American senator elected by popular vote.

Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 [W

What did Northerners think about black civil rights during Reconstruction

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Blacks made up the overwhelming majority of southern Republican voters, forming a coalition with “carpetbaggers” and “scalawags” (derogatory terms referring to recent arrivals from the North and southern white Republicans, respectively). A total of 265 African-American delegates were elected, more than 100 of whom had been born into slavery. Almost half of the elected black delegates served in and , where blacks had the longest history of political organization; in most other states, African Americans were underrepresented compared to their population. In all, 16 African Americans served in the U.S. Congress during Reconstruction; more than 600 more were elected to the state legislatures, and hundreds more held local offices across the South.

Black Codes (article) | Reconstruction | Khan Academy

During the decade known as Radical Reconstruction (1867-77), Congress granted African American men the status and rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, as guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. . Beginning in 1867, branches of the Union League, which encouraged the political activism of African Americans, spread throughout the South. During the state constitutional conventions held in 1867-69, blacks and white Americans stood side by side for the first time in political life.

Introducing Reconstruction Our new Slate Academy finds the seeds of our present politics in the period after the Civil War.
Feb 18, 2016 · If popular culture helps Americans understand history, there’s good news and bad news for the period known as Reconstruction

Abolished slavery in the United States

After emancipation, formerly enslaved people were granted the right to marry legally. An array of laws were passed legitimizing both slave marriages and the children that had been born to enslaved parents. In Part III, I explore the ways in which formerly enslaved people were folded into civilized and free society through their inclusion in the institution of marriage. It cannot be denied that many African American people had lived as husband and wife while enslaved. The legitimization of their relationships did little to affect the form of those relationships. However, I show that for a significant number of former slaves, legal marriage was not experienced as a source of validation and empowerment, but as discipline and punishment when the rigid rules of legal marriage were transgressed, often unintentionally. Thus, the robust enforcement of bigamy, fornication, and adultery laws served to domesticate African American people who were either unaware of, or ignored, the formal requirements of marital formation and dissolution, or who chose to conduct their intimate sexual relationships in ways that fell outside the matrimonial norms of Victorian society. In the end, the efforts of African Americans to maintain a spectrum of intimate sexual relationships in the postbellum period had to give way to the dictates of positive marriage laws. Part III shows how the process of becoming husbands and wives was not a benign one whereby the state lent its imprimatur to autonomous, self-defining couples, but rather was coercive in nature: Previously acceptable behavior was punished and the regulatory force of the state was invoked so as to mold the newly freed slaves into citizens. These cases illustrate "public authority using marriage policy to create a social order" and to create proper citizens.

Equal Justice Initiative's report

Primary archival evidence as well as postbellum legal opinions demonstrate that African Americans who emerged from slavery to participate freely in society were transformed in subtle and not so subtle ways into the kinds of citizens upon which southern society depended at that time. Historian Nancy Cott claims that "[o]ne might go so far as to say that the institution of marriage and the modern state have been mutually constitutive." Without question, African Americans have been called upon, and often coerced, to play a role in nation-building at different times in different ways. The evidence I discuss below demonstrates the extent to which matrimonial laws and norms afforded African American people social and economic benefits that had been previously foreclosed to them, but on the condition that African Americans abide by the race- and gender-based rules of bourgeois culture. Moreover, the complex way in which African Americans were inducted into the regulatory regime of marriage can be explained by reference to the felicitous convergence of the interests of Blacks and white males. White men had their own stake in Freedpeople's adherence to marriage laws wholly independent from any altruistic concern for Black civil rights or personal sovereignty.

Reconstruction - North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial

In many important respects, contemporary civil rights struggles must be understood as the legacy of the battles won and lost by and on behalf of African Americans in the Reconstruction era. Civil rights movements inevitably formulate both inequity and freedom in rights-based terms: the right to contract, to own property, to racially-integrated education, to privacy, to vote, to speak Spanish, and to marry a person of a different race or of the same sex. The emancipatory force of rights-based claims made on behalf of subordinated groups remains relatively unquestioned in modern liberatory discourses within the academy as well as in practical political and legal domains. Rights-based strategies have retained this stature notwithstanding sustained, principled critiques from various shores. Without attempting to rehearse the now well-known critiques and defenses of rights made elsewhere, yet mindful of the difficult problems these conversations have raised, I want to interrogate a paradox lurking in virtually all modern civil rights movements. The struggles of abject groups to emerge from the obscurity of the legal margins into the mainstream of civil society often materialized through demands for legal recognition by the state, and inclusion in the dominant legal and political institutions of society. Marriage is a good example, but surely not the only one. Ignored in these struggles is the degree to which these institutions are highly regulatory in nature: They are the sites in which the state is actively involved in creating social and legal statuses for both men and women in highly raced and gendered terms. Thus, an institution like marriage accomplishes a kind of colonialism by domesticating more "primitive" sexuality. Insofar as "sexuality . . . provides the principle categories for a strategic transformation of behavior into manipulable characterological types," husbands and wives--the primary adult units of civilized society--are the product of this cultural positioning. The process by which previously enslaved men and women became free husbands and wives reveals a great deal about the manner in which the assertion of rights initiates regulation by a "bureaucratic juridical apparatus" even as those rights are asserted as a means of liberation.