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African-Americans during the Reconstruction Era 1865-1877
During the Reconstruction era in 1965-1877, many African-American slaves were focused on reassembling their families. Under slavery, the black families were separated so as their masters could make profit. Also, they were separated due to disciplinary reasons. Children were separated from their mothers and fathers and sold as slaves. Husbands and wives were forced to live separately. Although the new system of labor agreements favored the ex-masters and former slaves, contract labor did not allow freed slaves to have total freedom (Smith, 2014). They could not own small lands and during the reconstruction era, the African-Americans remained poor, uneducated and were under the control of the whites. They were therefore trapped in huge debt under the sharecropping and farm tenantry systems. After the new Southern state constitutions were enacted, the freed slaves looked forward to joining politics. Nevertheless, they were required to be enfranchised so that they could be allowed to vote. In 1869, thousands of Northern blacks were denied suffrage. Hence, during the reconstruction era, the African-Americans made little gains as they did not enjoy the equality that they anticipated. Despite their determined efforts to contribute to political and economic advancement, African Americans suffered terribly during the Reconstruction era.
Thesis Statement: Despite their determined efforts to contribute to political and economic advancement, African Americans suffered terribly during the Reconstruction era.
Smith, J. D. (2014). We Ask Only for Even-Handed Justice: Black Voices from Reconstruction,
1865-1877. University of Massachusetts Press.