All posts tagged: long Reconstruction

How Black Americans Kept Reconstruction Alive

How Black Americans Kept Reconstruction Alive

The Civil War produced two competing narratives, each an attempt to make sense of a conflict that had eradicated the pestilence of slavery. Black Americans who believed in multiracial democracy extolled the emancipationist legacy of the war. These Reconstructionists envisioned a new America finally capable of safeguarding Black dignity and claims of citizenship. Black women and men created new civic, religious, political, educational, and economic institutions. They built thriving towns and districts, churches and schools. In so doing, they helped reimagine the purpose and promise of American democracy. Explore the December 2023 Issue Check out more from this issue and find your next story to read. View More For a time after the war, Black Reconstructionists also shaped the American government. They found allies in the Republican Party, where white abolitionists hoped to honor freedpeople’s demands and to create a progressive country in which all workers earned wages. Republicans in Congress pushed through amendments abolishing slavery, granting citizenship, and giving Black men the ballot. Congress also created the Freedmen’s Bureau, which offered provisions, clothing, fuel, …