Notícia

5 ex-escravos que se tornaram estadistas

5 ex-escravos que se tornaram estadistas

Blanche K. Bruce

Filho de uma mulher negra escravizada e de seu mestre branco, Blanche Bruce cresceu como empregada doméstica em plantações na Virgínia, no Mississippi e no Missouri. Ele teve uma educação privilegiada pelos padrões dos escravos e foi autorizado a estudar com um professor particular, mas quando a Guerra Civil estourou, ele aproveitou sua chance de liberdade e fugiu para o Kansas. Bruce mais tarde trabalhou como professor e abriu a primeira escola do Missouri para crianças negras antes de se mudar para o Mississippi no final da década de 1860. Ele chegou ao estado com apenas 75 centavos de dólar, mas em poucos anos se tornou um especulador e plantador de terras bem-sucedido. Sua mente afiada e comportamento gentil também o tornaram uma estrela em ascensão no Partido Republicano do Mississippi, o que o levou a empregos como xerife, coletor de impostos e superintendente de educação do condado.

Em 1874, a legislatura do Mississippi elegeu Bruce para o Senado dos EUA, tornando-o o segundo senador negro na história americana e o primeiro a cumprir um mandato de seis anos. Ele passou grande parte de seu mandato defendendo veteranos negros da Guerra Civil e lutando contra a segregação, mas também falou em apoio aos imigrantes chineses e nativos americanos. Durante um debate de 1879 sobre a Lei de Exclusão da China, ele se tornou o primeiro afro-americano a presidir uma sessão do Senado. Enquanto o colapso da Reconstrução condenava Bruce a um único mandato no Senado, o ex-legislador escravizado permaneceu ativo na política e mais tarde passou vários anos como registro do Tesouro, uma função que viu sua assinatura aparecer em todos os papéis-moeda do país.

Robert Smalls

A jornada de Robert Smalls de escravo a congressista dos EUA começou com um famoso ato de desafio. Em 1862, o nativo da Carolina do Sul estava servindo como motorista de roda a bordo de um navio confederado chamado Planter. Quando a tripulação branca tirou uma licença não autorizada em Charleston nas primeiras horas da manhã de 13 de maio, Smalls e vários outros escravos sequestraram o navio, pilotaram-no pelo Fort Sumter e o entregaram a um esquadrão de bloqueio da União. Smalls passou a comandar o Planter da Marinha. Após o fim da Guerra Civil, ele usou sua recompensa pela captura do navio para comprar a casa de seu antigo mestre em Beaufort, Carolina do Sul.

No final da década de 1860, Smalls transformou sua celebridade como o “herói do Planter” em uma carreira política. Ele ajudou a organizar o florescente Partido Republicano da Carolina do Sul e, mais tarde, serviu na legislatura estadual antes de ganhar uma cadeira na Câmara dos Representantes dos Estados Unidos em 1875. Como congressista, Smalls promoveu o direito de voto dos negros e introduziu uma legislação que teria desagregado os militares dos Estados Unidos, mas seus cinco mandatos foram frequentemente prejudicados por sabotagem política e fraude eleitoral por parte das forças da supremacia branca. Depois de perder sua última corrida para o Congresso em 1886, ele voltou para a Carolina do Sul e trabalhou como coletor de alfândega dos EUA.

Joseph Rainey

Embora nascido na escravidão, Joseph Rainey da Carolina do Sul conquistou sua liberdade quando menino, depois que seus pais compraram sua família da escravidão. Ele teve uma carreira próspera como barbeiro de Charleston, mas em 1861, a Confederação o pressionou para servir como cavador de trincheiras e cozinheiro de navios. Não querendo suportar a escravidão pela segunda vez, Rainey fugiu para as Bermudas, onde se escondeu e continuou trabalhando como barbeiro até o fim da Guerra Civil. Ao voltar para casa em 1866, ele se reinventou como político e serviu no senado estadual da Carolina do Sul. Apenas quatro anos depois, ele ganhou uma eleição especial e se tornou o primeiro membro negro da Câmara dos Representantes dos EUA.

No Congresso, Rainey se estabeleceu como um republicano moderado disposto a fazer concessões na luta pela igualdade. Ele apoiou a anistia para ex-confederados e até defendeu um poll tax ao estilo de Jim Crow para financiar a educação, mas também pediu ao governo federal que mobilizasse o exército contra a Ku Klux Klan e outros grupos de supremacia branca. Criticar a Klan colocou a vida de Rainey em risco. Certa vez, ele recebeu uma carta anônima alertando-o para “preparar-se para encontrar seu Deus”, mas apesar da ameaça de assassinato, ele permaneceu no Congresso por cinco mandatos consecutivos - mais do que qualquer político negro durante a Reconstrução.

John R. Lynch

Filho de um capataz irlandês e de uma mãe escravizada, John Lynch passou seus primeiros anos de formação labutando em uma plantação no Mississippi antes de ser libertado pelas tropas da União durante a Guerra Civil. Mais tarde, ele trabalhou como garçom, cozinheiro e gerente de um estúdio de fotografia durante o dia, mas usava as noites para frequentar a escola primária e ler livros sobre direito. Lynch logo se tornou ativo na política e, em 1869, foi nomeado juiz de paz e eleito para a Câmara dos Representantes do Mississippi. Sua notável ascensão continuou em 1872, quando derrotou um juiz para ganhar uma cadeira no Congresso com apenas 26 anos.

Apesar de sua juventude, Lynch provou ser um político astuto e um orador eloqüente. Ele falou a favor do Projeto de Lei dos Direitos Civis de 1875 e fez duras críticas aos grupos de supremacia branca, que ele argumentou que alcançaram seus objetivos políticos "pelo poder da bala e não pelo poder do voto". Lynch cumpriu três mandatos não consecutivos na Câmara antes de ser afastado do cargo após o colapso da Reconstrução. Seu currículo mais tarde incluiu passagens como advogado, membro do Comitê Nacional Republicano e major do exército dos EUA durante a Guerra Hispano-Americana. Antes de sua morte em 1939, ele também escreveu vários livros e artigos que destacaram as realizações dos políticos negros durante a Reconstrução.

Josiah Walls

Até 1993, um ex-escravo chamado Josiah Walls era o único congressista negro na história da Flórida. Nascido na Virgínia em 1842, Walls atingiu a maioridade em uma plantação antes de ser recrutado pela Confederação durante a Guerra Civil. Mais tarde, ele foi capturado e libertado pelas forças da União e, após um breve período como estudante na Filadélfia, juntou-se a um regimento das Tropas Coloridas dos Estados Unidos e serviu na Flórida ocupada pela União. Walls escolheu ficar no Sunshine State depois de ser retirado do serviço em 1865. Ele logo prosperou como professor e madeireiro e, em 1868, era rico o suficiente para comprar uma plantação que outrora pertencera a um general confederado.

O início da carreira política de Walls incluiu mandatos em ambas as câmaras da legislatura do estado da Flórida. Em 1870, ele enfrentou um ex-confederado chamado Silas Niblack em uma disputa por uma cadeira na Câmara dos Representantes dos EUA. A campanha foi notoriamente acalorada. Walls se esquivou por pouco da bala de um assassino durante um comício, e ambos os lados reclamaram de intimidação do eleitor e irregularidades na votação. Mesmo depois que Walls conquistou a vitória, Niblack contestou os resultados e os derrubou. Walls logo ganhou uma cadeira diferente no Congresso, no entanto, passou a servir um total de três mandatos, durante os quais ele defendeu melhorias na infraestrutura e programas federais para fornecer aos negros igual acesso à educação. Ele deixou o cargo em 1877 como o político afro-americano mais proeminente da Flórida e, mais tarde, retornou à legislatura estadual antes de se dedicar à agricultura.


3 principais maneiras pelas quais as pessoas escravizadas mostraram resistência a uma vida na escravidão

Montagem de estoque / Contribuidor / Getty Images

Os africanos escravizados nos Estados Unidos usaram uma série de medidas para mostrar resistência a uma vida na escravidão. Esses métodos surgiram depois que o primeiro grupo de escravos chegou à América do Norte em 1619. A escravidão dos africanos criou um sistema econômico que persistiu até 1865, quando a 13ª Emenda aboliu a prática.

Mas antes de ser abolido, as pessoas escravizadas tinham três métodos disponíveis para resistir a uma vida na escravidão:

  • Eles poderiam se rebelar contra escravos
  • Eles poderiam fugir
  • Eles podem realizar pequenos atos diários de resistência, como desacelerar o trabalho

Narrativas comoventes de pessoas escravizadas

O proeminente ativista negro norte-americano do século 19, Frederick Douglass, ganhou a atenção do público pela primeira vez com a publicação de sua própria narrativa clássica na década de 1840. Seu livro e outros forneceram um testemunho vívido de primeira mão sobre a vida no cativeiro.

Uma narrativa publicada no início da década de 1850 por Solomon Northup, um negro residente de Nova York que foi sequestrado como escravidão, despertou indignação. A história de Northup se tornou amplamente conhecida a partir do filme vencedor do Oscar, "12 Anos de Escravo", baseado em seu relato marcante da vida sob o sistema cruel das plantações da Louisiana.

Nos anos que se seguiram à Guerra Civil, cerca de 55 narrativas inteiras foram publicadas. Notavelmente, mais duas narrativas descobertas recentemente foram publicadas em novembro de 2007.

Os autores listados escreveram algumas das narrativas mais importantes e amplamente lidas.


15 escravos mais famosos da história humana

A história humana conheceu muitas fases. Guerras, sangue, sobrevivência, descobertas, invenções, desenvolvimento e até escravidão existem há muito tempo.

A história humana conheceu muitas fases. Guerras, sangue, sobrevivência, descobertas, invenções, desenvolvimento e até escravidão estão há muito tempo na história da humanidade. A escravidão é uma parte vergonhosa do passado da humanidade. O que é ainda mais deprimente é que ainda continua em algumas partes do mundo. Além da escravidão física, a escravidão mental é uma escravidão extensa no cenário atual. Trabalhos mal pagos ou lojas de suor em países do terceiro mundo são outra forma de escravidão.

As pessoas sempre quiseram subjugar os outros e tirar vantagem injusta deles, desde que as sociedades complexas evoluíram. Muitas pessoas, que foram dominadas pelos tiranos durante anos, deixaram uma marca na história. Suas dificuldades atingiram duramente a humanidade e por isso eles se tornaram os escravos mais famosos da história.

15. Margaret Garner

A senhora era uma escrava afro-americana que matou sua filha para escapar dos horrores da escravidão. A família tentou escapar para um estado livre em janeiro de 1856, mas foi pega pelos caçadores de escravos. No entanto, ela conseguiu matar sua filha de 2 anos e planejou se matar junto com outras crianças, mas os caçadores de escravos a impediram. Toni Morrison ficou muito emocionada com sua história e então escreveu o romance ‘Amada’.

14. George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver nunca experimentou um ar de liberdade desde o dia em que nasceu em Diamond Grove, Missouri, em 1860. Seus pais eram escravos de um imigrante alemão-americano, Moses Carver. Após a abolição da escravidão, Moses e sua esposa Susan assumiram a responsabilidade de criar George e seu irmão James para um futuro melhor. George correspondeu às expectativas deles e se tornou um cientista, educador, botânico e inventor. Ele fez contribuições notáveis ​​para o segmento agrícola. O cultivo alternativo de algodão com outras plantas acabou beneficiando ao máximo os agricultores.

13. Abram Petrovich Gannibal

Também conhecido pelos nomes Hannibal e Ganibal, o Major-General Abram Petrovich Gannibal pertencia à terra africana. Pedro, o Grande, o trouxe para a Rússia. Mas Gannibal tinha seu caminho traçado e então ele se tornou o major-general, engenheiro militar e governador de Reval. Ele é o bisavô de Aleksandr Pushkin que escreveu o romance O mouro de Pedro o Grande que ainda permanece incompleto.

12. Frederick Douglass

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey nasceu no condado de Talbot, Maryland. Viver uma vida de escravo nunca o agradou. Ele se educou e, após várias tentativas, finalmente escapou em 1838. Ele é conhecido por ser um grande orador, estadista, escritor e, acima de tudo, um reformador social hoje. Ele também se tornou o líder do movimento abolicionista e provou que os brancos estavam errados contra seu argumento de que os negros não possuíam intelectuais suficientes para viver de forma independente.

11. Nat Turner

Nat Turner era um afro-americano escravizado que liderou uma rebelião no condado de Southampton, na Virgínia, em 1831. Cerca de 50 escravos e negros livres mataram pelo menos 55 brancos. Turner afirmava buscar visões e orientações de Deus. Em 21 de agosto de 1831, ele partiu para outra onda de assassinatos com quatro outros escravos perto de Jerusalém, matando vários homens, mulheres e crianças. Seus apoiadores haviam crescido para 40 ou 50, mas a milícia local enfrentou a maioria deles. Turner escapou, mas foi capturado em outubro e enforcado em novembro. “The Confessions of Nat Turner” foi a descrição de Turner das ações que ele descreveu para Thomas R. Gray. Sua rebelião fracassada causou a morte de centenas de negros e regras mais duras para limitar as atividades dos escravos foram impostas pelos brancos sobre eles.

10. Anna J. Cooper

Cooper nasceu como escrava na casa de George Washington Haywood em Raleigh, Carolina do Norte em 1858 e hoje ela é uma das mais célebres autoras, educadoras e acadêmicas americanas. Ela também é a 4ª mulher afro-americana a obter o título de doutor. Seu único trabalho publicado "A Voice from the South: By a Woman from the South" se tornou um dos primeiros marcos do feminismo negro.

9. James Somersett

James Somersett foi comprado em 1749 na Virgínia por Charles Stuart, que trabalhava para o serviço público inglês. Na viagem de Somersett à Inglaterra com Stuart em 1769, ele se tornou parte do movimento antiescravidão. Somersett recebeu seu nome James em uma cerimônia na igreja durante este período. Ele conseguiu escapar da escravidão, mas foi recapturado e seu julgamento significou o fim da escravidão na Inglaterra.

8. Toussaint Louverture

Toussaint Louverture era escravo desde seu nascimento em uma plantação de Breda em Haut de Cap em Saint-Domingue. Ele se livrou desse sistema aos 33 anos, mas continuou a trabalhar na plantação. Ele foi um líder proeminente da Revolução Haitiana. Ele deu o exemplo para os escravos do Novo Mundo ao tornar o Haiti independente.

7. Enrique de Malaca

Enrique de Malaca também era conhecido como Henrique, o Negro. Ele era natural do arquipélago malaio e serviu a Fernando de Magalhães. Ferdinand Magalhães comprou-o do mercado de escravos de Malaca em 1511 depois que ele foi capturado por escravistas de Sumatra em sua ilha natal. Enrique também foi intérprete de Magalhães. Ele o acompanhou em sua famosa busca pela passagem para o oeste do Oceano Pacífico. Enrique fez a primeira circunavegação cultural conhecida. Ele possivelmente cruzou todas as longitudes para viajar para alcançar as pessoas que falavam sua língua.

6. Esopo

Esopo era um contador de histórias e fabulista famoso pelas fábulas de Esopo. Ladmon de Samos o havia tomado como seu escravo na Grécia antiga. Ele nunca escreveu suas histórias, mas transmitiu muitas fábulas oralmente. Suas histórias são caracterizadas por animais e objetos que falam e possuem características humanas.

5. São Patrício

São Patrício é admirado pelos cristãos por estabelecer a igreja na Irlanda durante o século 5 DC. Os detalhes exatos de sua vida não são claros, mas alguns fatos permanecem comuns. Ele foi capturado e vendido como escravo na Irlanda em sua adolescência. Ele escapou de seu mestre seis anos depois e se tornou um monge depois de alguns anos. Em seu retorno à Irlanda em 432 como missionário, ele converteu muitas tribos ao Cristianismo. Muito mais tarde, ele escreveu um breve texto sobre sua vida ‘Confessio’.

4. Spartacus

Spartacus era um trácio que serviu no exército romano. Ele se tornou um bandido e ao ser pego, ele se tornou um escravo. Mais tarde, ele escapou da escola de gladiadores e planejou uma revolta com os escravos fugitivos no Monte Vesúvio. Ele também foi o líder da terceira Guerra Servil contra a República Romana. Antes de serem derrotados pelas esquerdas de Marcus Licinius Crassus na Lucânia, eles venceram muitas batalhas no sul da Itália e Spartacus morreu nesta batalha.

3. Zayd ibn Harithah

Zayd ibn Harithah também era conhecido como Zayd mawla Muhammad. Ele era um companheiro do Profeta Mohammad. Nascido em uma tribo chamada Kalb em Najd da Arábia Central, ele foi sequestrado muito jovem e vendido como escravo. Um comerciante de Meca, Hakim ibn Hizam comprou-o e deu de presente a Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, que era sua tia. Ela se casou com Muhammad e deu-lhe Zayd de presente. Diz-se que Muhammad se apega muito a Muhammad.

2. Ammar ibn Yasir

Ammar ibn Yasir é outro companheiro famoso de Muhammad. Ele era um daqueles escravos que foram libertados por Abu Bakr. Ele é um dos quatro companheiros dos muçulmanos xiitas. Ele nasceu no Ano do Elefante (570) e, portanto, tem a mesma idade de Muhammad. Mesmo antes do Islã, Ammar era amigo de Maomé. Banu Adi manteve Ammar como seu escravo. Ele foi morto na batalha de Siffin (657) por ibn Hawwa esaksaki e Abu Al’Adiyah.

1. Henry & ldquoBox & rdquo Brown

Henry Brown decidiu escapar da escravidão depois que sua esposa e filhos foram vendidos e enviados para algum outro estado em 1848. Ele planejou enviar de Richmond para a Filadélfia em uma caixa de madeira com a ajuda de negros livres e um lojista branco. Depois de muitos problemas, ele chegou em segurança à Filadélfia. Essa história o tornou uma celebridade na Nova Inglaterra. Mas após a aprovação da Lei do Escravo Fugitivo de 1850, ele teve que fugir do país. Depois disso, "Box" Brown passou vários anos na Grã-Bretanha apresentando atos teatrais que representaram sua fuga. Em 1875, ele retornou aos Estados Unidos e trabalhou como mágico. Para os atos desta profissão, ele subiu na mesma caixa de madeira que o havia levado para a liberdade.


Êxodo: os negros fugiram do Sul em massa há mais de um século, em busca da verdadeira liberdade

A escravidão e a grande migração são apenas dois dos 13 movimentos de massa de negros que mudaram a nação, de acordo com historiadores do Centro Schomburg.

Afi-Odelia Scruggs, especial para os EUA HOJE

Publicado às 21h17 ET, 6 de março de 2019 | Atualizado às 16h23. ET, 11 de março de 2019

Na década seguinte à Guerra Civil, ex-escravos no Sul buscaram uma saída. Eles estavam enojados e exaustos pelo terrorismo racista que se seguiu à emancipação. Embora libertados da escravidão, os afro-americanos eram rotineiramente enganados, atacados e mortos por brancos que mal os toleravam, se é que os toleravam.

“Negros que perceberam que os brancos do sul os viam basicamente como unidades de trabalho. insistiu que os negros teriam que deixar o Sul, & rdquo historiador Nell Irvin Painter escreveu em seu livro de 1976, & quotExodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction. & quot.

Então eles foram embora. Os chamados Exodusters mudaram-se para o oeste, para o Kansas. Alguns se estabeleceram em cidades como Topeka e Kansas City, e outros se estabeleceram em cidades como Bogue e Nicodemus na parte oeste do estado. Em 1880, milhares haviam participado do que os historiadores chamam de a primeira grande migração de ex-escravos.

Esse êxodo ocidental foi esquecido em muitas narrativas da história negra. Mas os estudiosos estão usando isso e outras migrações em massa para construir uma nova estrutura para estudar a história e as experiências negras. Indo além de focar apenas na escravidão e suas consequências, os estudiosos identificaram 13 migrações distintas que "formaram e transformaram a América africana", de acordo com o Centro Schomburg para Pesquisa em Cultura Negra, uma divisão da Biblioteca Pública de Nova York.

Alguns são bem conhecidos. O tráfico transatlântico e doméstico de escravos é o maior das migrações e também o único involuntário. A Grande Migração do século 20 & ndash o movimento dos negros do sul rural para as cidades do Norte & ndash também é um marco da história popular.

Outros são discutidos com menos frequência: a imigração haitiana para os Estados Unidos no final dos anos 1700 e início dos anos 1800, o movimento de afro-americanos livres para o norte na década de 1840 e a imigração da África e do Caribe desde os anos 1970. As migrações voluntárias demonstram independência e vontade de fazer escolhas para uma vida melhor - o que os estudiosos chamam de agência. & ldquoEssa & rsquos ação. Isso está colocando sua vida nas mãos ”, disse Painter, um professor emérito de Princeton. & ldquoIsso é a própria definição de agência. & rdquo

Sylviane Diouf, professora visitante da Brown University & rsquos Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, disse que estudar a migração compensa um preconceito encontrado nas representações convencionais da história negra.

"O comércio de escravos, a escravidão, a emancipação, Jim Crow e os direitos civis", disse Diouf. & ldquoMas quando você olha para a história por meio da migração, vê como as pessoas foram agentes de seu próprio futuro. & rdquo

Diouf e Howard Dodson, diretor emérito do centro de Schomburg, foram os especialistas por trás do & ldquoIn Motion, & rdquo uma exibição multimídia e projeto de pesquisa sobre as migrações afro-americanas.

A linha do tempo da migração começa no século 15 com o comércio transatlântico de escravos. De 1492 a 1776, cerca de 6,5 milhões de pessoas vieram para o Hemisfério Ocidental. Apenas 1 milhão deles eram europeus e o resto eram africanos escravizados.

& ldquoO comércio transatlântico de escravos lançou as bases para o capitalismo moderno, gerando imensa riqueza para empresas de negócios na América e na Europa & rdquo, diz a exposição. Ao mesmo tempo, os efeitos devastadores na África abriram caminho para a colonização europeia do continente.

Dodson diz que o comércio de escravos também criou uma cultura única do Novo Mundo.

& ldquoMuitas pessoas pensam na África como um país, (mas) é um continente com diversos grupos étnicos, religiosos e culturais. A população que foi escravizada foi retirada de tudo isso ”, disse Dodson. & ldquoNo contexto da experiência do escravo, eles se transformam em um novo povo, criando novas linguagens, novas religiões, novas formas de expressão cultural. & rdquo

A maioria dos milhões de escravos trazidos para o Novo Mundo foram para o Caribe e a América do Sul. Estima-se que 500.000 foram levados diretamente da África para a América do Norte. Mas esses números foram apoiados pelo comércio doméstico de escravos, que começou na década de 1760 & ndash meio século antes do fim da importação legal de escravos.

"O comércio doméstico de escravos deslocou cerca de 1,2 milhão de afro-americanos do Alto Sul para o Extremo Sul", disse Diouf. & ldquoAs pessoas da Virgínia, Maryland, Carolina do Norte foram forçadas a ir a pé e de trem ao Deep South para desenvolver plantações de algodão. & rdquo

O ímpeto foi o descaroçador de algodão, inventado em 1794. A máquina Eli Whitney & rsquos reduziu os custos de produção e ajudou a tornar o tecido de algodão acessível. O aumento da demanda levou ao aumento do cultivo e criou uma economia de plantation dependente do trabalho escravo. Antes da inovação de Whitney & rsquos, cerca de 700.000 escravos viviam no sul. Em 1850, essa população havia aumentado para mais de 3 milhões, de acordo com o National History Education Clearinghouse.

A emancipação após a Guerra Civil trouxe a esperança de liberdade, mas a realidade era mais opressão.

O Sítio Histórico Nacional de Nicodemus, no Kansas, comemora a cidade fundada por negros que deixaram o Sul após a Guerra Civil. A lateral inclui a antiga escola da cidade, vista à esquerda.
(Foto: Will Pope, National Park Service)

“Os escravos oraram pela liberdade, e então a conseguiram”, disse a ex-escrava Patsy Mitchner em 1937, quando entrevistada para a Works Progress Administration & rsquos história oral da escravidão. & ldquoEles não tinham para onde ir e nada para viver. Eles não tinham experiência em cuidar de si próprios, nem com o que trabalhar, nem com terras. & Rdquo

Tecnicamente, Mitchner estava errado. Em 16 de janeiro de 1865, o general William T. Sherman emitiu uma ordem de campo reservando 400.000 acres na costa da Geórgia, Carolina do Sul e Flórida para os novos libertos. Mas essa ordem durou pouco. O presidente Andrew Johnson, um simpatizante dos confederados, devolveu a propriedade aos proprietários de plantações em 1865 & ndash, poucos meses após o assassinato de seu antecessor, Abraham Lincoln. Assim, outra promessa foi feita e quebrada.

Na verdade, o único bem que muitos ex-escravos possuíam era seu trabalho, escreveu Painter em "Exodusters". Eles alugavam as terras em que trabalhavam, geralmente pagando aos proprietários brancos uma parte da colheita. O proprietário ficava com os livros, então os trabalhadores invariavelmente ficavam sem dinheiro.

Em seu livro, Painter citou uma carta que um escravo liberto do Texas, Jasper Arnold, escreveu sobre sua situação.

& ldquoNós somos pessoas que trabalham duro aqui & hellip e damos muito aluguel e grandes juros & hellip nós trabalhamos e trabalhamos e todos os anos brincamos de sair todas as vezes & quot, escreveu Arnold ao governador do Kansas por volta de 1879.

Adicione a violência infligida aos libertos e as condições eram realmente abomináveis. Na verdade, Painter começou a pesquisar as circunstâncias dos ex-escravos porque tinha uma pergunta: por que as pessoas ficam em uma situação tão horrível?

"A resposta foi que eles não fizeram isso", disse ela.

Os novos libertos inicialmente rumaram para o oeste a pedido de recrutadores como Benjamin & ldquoPap & rdquo Singleton. Ele nasceu na escravidão em 1809 em Nashville, Tennessee. Quando ele tinha 37 anos, ele escapou e foi para Detroit. Após a Guerra Civil, ele voltou para o Tennessee, onde tentou ajudar negros a comprar terras. Quando isso falhou, ele viajou para o Sul, organizando negros para se reinstalarem no Kansas. Ele finalmente seguiu para o oeste com 300 homesteaders em 1873.

Suas colônias finalmente vacilaram, mas seus esforços floresceram. À medida que as condições no Sul se tornavam mais insuportáveis, os negros deixados aos milhares em um movimento Harper & rsquos Magazine chamado "O Grande Êxodo Negro". Por causa dos panfletos de Singleton & rsquos, muitos negros seguiram para o Kansas. Mas eles foram para o norte também.

Na verdade, tantos deixaram o Sul que uma comissão do Senado investigou o assunto. Teóricos da conspiração da época afirmavam que os republicanos estavam estabelecendo libertos em estados como Indiana e Kansas para obter ganhos políticos. Mas um relatório da minoria atribuiu a crise aos repressores democratas do sul, ao mesmo tempo em que observou como líderes como Singleton organizaram esforços para dar aos negros um novo começo.

"Aqui, então, temos provas conclusivas dos próprios negros de que eles vêm preparando esse movimento há muitos anos", escreveram os membros do comitê da minoria em 1879.

Essa mobilidade colocou os negros no centro da experiência americana, que vê o movimento como um símbolo de liberdade e um meio de começar do zero.

& ldquoO que foi tão devastador na escravidão foi a incapacidade de se mover. Diante disso, vemos muito movimento ”, disse Painter. & ldquoAmericanos são famosos por se moverem. Para onde quer que você olhe na história americana, você encontrará pessoas em movimento. & Rdquo

Esse movimento continua no século 21. Desde 1970, mais africanos vieram diretamente para os EUA do que os que foram trazidos para cá durante o comércio de escravos. De acordo com o Pew Research Center, 1,6 milhão de imigrantes africanos viviam nos Estados Unidos em 2016. Isso é mais do que o dobro dos 547.000 que viviam aqui em 2000.

Dodson observa que a migração está mais uma vez transformando não apenas a comunidade afro-americana, mas todo o país.

& ldquoA migração não é simplesmente um fenômeno demográfico. É cultural, político e econômico. & hellip Nossa presença muda a natureza da geografia física e cultural dos próprios Estados Unidos. & rdquo

Afi-Odelia Scruggs é jornalista e autora de & quotClaiming Kin: Confronting the History of an African American Family. & Quot


5 ex-escravos que se tornaram estadistas - HISTÓRIA

Reconstrução e os ex-escravizados

W. Fitzhugh Brundage
William B. Umstead Professor de História, Universidade da Carolina do Norte
Bolsista do National Humanities Center
e cópia Centro Nacional de Humanidades

  • Quem foi americano?
  • De quais direitos todos os americanos devem desfrutar?
  • Quais direitos apenas alguns americanos possuem?
  • Em que termos a nação seria reunificada?
  • Qual era a situação dos ex-estados confederados?
  • Como a cidadania seria definida?
  • Os ex-escravos eram cidadãos americanos?
  • Quando e como os ex-confederados recuperariam sua cidadania?
  • Que forma de trabalho substituiria a escravidão?

Por mais importante que seja um comando da cronologia da Reconstrução, é igualmente importante que os alunos entendam que a Reconstrução foi um período em que os americanos travaram um debate sustentado sobre quem era americano, quais direitos deveriam gozar todos os americanos e quais direitos teriam apenas alguns americanos. possuir. Em suma, os americanos se envolveram em um debate acirrado sobre a natureza da liberdade e da igualdade.

Com a rendição dos exércitos confederados e a captura de Jefferson Davis na primavera de 1865, questões urgentes exigiam respostas imediatas. Em que termos a nação seria reunificada? Qual era a situação dos ex-estados confederados? Como a cidadania seria definida na nação do pós-guerra? Os ex-escravos eram cidadãos americanos agora? Quando e como os ex-confederados recuperariam sua cidadania americana? Que forma de trabalho substituiria a escravidão?

Os americanos brancos não esperavam que os negros participassem dos debates da era da reconstrução. Os negros pensavam de outra forma. A nação & rsquos aproximadamente quatro milhões de afro-americanos, dos quais cerca de 3,5 milhões foram escravizados, estavam no centro de cada uma dessas questões. Se os nortistas brancos só gradualmente chegaram a compreender que a Guerra Civil foi uma guerra para acabar com a escravidão, eles reconheceram imediatamente durante a era do pós-guerra que o lugar dos negros na sociedade americana estava inextricavelmente ligado a todas essas questões urgentes da época. Mesmo assim, os brancos do norte, e mais ainda os brancos do sul, presumiram que debateriam e resolveriam essas questões com pouca ou nenhuma consideração da opinião negra. Nada na história anterior das relações raciais na América do Norte preparou os americanos brancos para o papel notável que os afro-americanos desempenharam nos eventos após a Guerra Civil. Ao final da Reconstrução, nenhum americano poderia duvidar de que os afro-americanos pretendiam reivindicar seus direitos como cidadãos ou participar do debate sobre seu futuro.

A cidadania negra dependia do status dos estados confederados. O fato de os afro-americanos terem se tornado cidadãos americanos foi indiscutivelmente o sinal do desenvolvimento durante a Reconstrução. Apenas uma década antes, a Suprema Corte havia decidido no Dred Scott decisão de 1858 de que os afrodescendentes importassem para os Estados Unidos e fossem mantidos como escravos, ou seus descendentes - fossem ou não escravos - nunca poderiam ser cidadãos dos Estados Unidos. Quando, durante a Guerra Civil, os escravos começaram a fugir para as linhas da União em números crescentes e após a Proclamação de Emancipação, ficou claro que & ldquofatos no terreno & rdquo ultrapassariam o Dred Scott decisão. No entanto, qualquer resolução sobre a situação dos ex-escravos tinha que ser resolvida no contexto do federalismo americano, porque até então a cidadania era definida e protegida por lei estadual. Portanto, a resolução do status de cidadania dos negros dependia do status dos ex-estados confederados e de sua relação com a nação em geral.

Após a Guerra Civil, os estados confederados conquistaram terras, territórios fronteiriços ou estados em boa situação? Quem exercia o poder de definir os direitos dos ex-escravos dependeria de quem detinha o poder de ditar o que acontecia na ex-Confederação. Os ex-estados confederados foram conquistados em território? Nesse caso, o governo federal (ou, em outras palavras, os brancos e republicanos do norte) poderia ditar a reconstrução do sul. Or were the former Confederate states essentially quasi-frontier territories that had to be readmitted to the union? If so, then the voters of the South would decide the course of the former Confederacy. In addition, those same voters would decide the content of citizenship in their states. Or were the former Confederate states still states in good standing that would return to their former, pre-war status as soon as southerners elected congressmen, senators, governors? If that were the case, then presumably the southern states, and the definition of citizenship that prevailed in them before the Civil War, would be restored.

Northern opinion on this question varied widely. Abraham Lincoln, before his murder, had recommended the speedy return of the southern states. Lincoln presumed that the reunion of the nation was of paramount importance. Andrew Johnson, who assumed the presidency after Lincoln&rsquos assassination, adopted the same view of reunion, proposing to restore political rights to white southerners as soon as they pledged loyalty to the union. While willing to grant presidential pardons to even high-ranking Confederate officers and politicians, Johnson displayed no interest in extending citizenship to former slaves. Other northerners looked askance at Johnson&rsquos decision to restore political power to white southerners, especially after their behavior suggested little contrition on their part. In the fall of 1865, white southerners who had regained their political rights under Johnson&rsquos policies elected many former Confederates leaders and generals, including even the Vice President of the Confederacy, to represent their states in Congress. Northerners who had just fought against secession for four years and who had buried hundreds of thousands of wartime casualties refused to tolerate the seating of Confederates in Congress less than a year after the guns fell silent.

The issue of African American citizenship provoked equally complex competing views. White southerners had clear ideas about the social and racial order that would replace slavery they intended to restrict the rights of citizenship to whites as much as possible. During the fall of 1865 southern state legislatures that had been organized under Johnson&rsquos Reconstruction plan adopted oppressive laws, known as the &ldquoBlack Codes,&rdquo that narrowly defined the civil rights and social and economic status of the freed people. The Codes explicitly denied blacks the right to vote, limited their freedom of movement, and criminalized behavior.

White southerners overplayed their hand. The combination of the harsh Black Codes and the prevalence of Confederates in southern delegations to Congress in the fall of 1865 hastened the beginning of what became known as Congressional Reconstruction. Essentially, Congress, controlled by a Republican majority, used its legislative powers and control over the federal purse strings in an attempt to impose answers to the &ldquoBig Questions of Reconstruction&rdquo listed above.

The recalcitrance of white Southerners opened Republicans to extending full citizenship to the formerly enslaved. Congressional Reconstruction thus may be understood as an attempt to prevent white southerners from dictating the outcome of Reconstruction. The only consensus that existed among northern politicians during Reconstruction was that white southerners should not have a free hand, as they had in late 1865 and early 1866, to impose their will on the South. A partir de The South As It Is: 1865-66, John Richard Dennett
Raleigh, N.C., October 5, 1865

The session [of "the colored men's convention"] was held in the African Methodist church, a small edifice in a back street of the city. The delegates were about a hundred and twenty in number, but crowds of colored citizens were interested spectators through the four days, and the house was always filled full. . . . [T]hese men though ignorant were intelligent, and often spoke exceedingly well. "Yes," said one of the cleverest among them&mdash"yes, we are ignorant. . . . They say we don't know what the word constitution means. But if we don't know enough to know what the Constitution is, we know enough to know what justice is."

White northerners gradually understood that they would need allies in the South if the region was going to be reconstructed. The majority of white southerners had already demonstrated their reactionary preferences when they voted for former Confederates and supported the Black Codes. Consequently, by 1868 many white Republicans were open to the prospect of extending full citizenship to former slaves.

Black southerners did everything within their power to speed the evolution of northern attitudes. Within months of the end of the Civil War former slaves in the South had gathered in conventions to proclaim their vision for their region and their race. Contrasting their devotion to the Union with the treason of their white neighbors, black southerners also stressed that the reconstruction of the former Confederacy could not proceed without their participation. And in the name of justice, the sacrifice of northerners, and the nation&rsquos revolutionary heritage, blacks demanded that the nation acknowledge their rights as citizens. Most white northerners were reticent to embrace these demands in 1865. Within two years white southern intransigence, African American appeals, and political necessity convinced many northern Republicans that extending citizenship to former slaves was a prerequisite for the restoration of the Union.

But how could the guarantees of citizenship be extended to blacks when states had traditionally been the guarantors of rights and the former states of the Confederacy were now controlled by white southerners who championed white supremacy? The resolution of this conundrum was the Military Reconstruction Act (1867). It divided the states of the South into military districts under federal military command. No southern state could return to civilian rule until its voters, including black men, framed a state constitution that guaranteed black suffrage. In addition, each southern state had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment was multi-purpose constitutional device that was intended to resolve several of the questions hanging over the nation. It ended the president&rsquos power of granting easy pardons to Confederate leaders. Most important, it established a constitutional guarantee of basic citizenship for all Americans, including African Americans. By defining as an American citizen anyone born in the United States or naturalized here, the amendment prohibited states from depriving any person, of &ldquolife, liberty, or property, without due process of law.&rdquo At the very least, the amendment established a national benchmark for citizenship.

It is worth pausing for a moment and acknowledging just how extraordinary the developments in 1867&mdashthe Military Reconstruction Act and the Fourteenth Amendment&mdashwere. The United States made itself unique among modern slave societies when it gave the vote to former slaves almost immediately after emancipation. Whereas elsewhere&mdashJamaica, Haiti, Brazil, etc.&mdashvirtually no former slaves were enfranchised, in the United States former slaves and their former masters competed for political power two years after the abolition of slavery.

Once the franchise was extended to blacks through the Military Reconstruction Act, the political mobilization of blacks took place with lightening speed. Throughout Reconstruction, when not deterred by violence, blacks participated in extraordinary numbers in elections. Their turnout in some instances approached 90 percent. Indeed, because black political mobilization was of paramount importance to the success of the Republican Party, Republicans in Congress pushed for the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870. Despite some glaring loopholes that would be later exploited to restrict the right to vote, the Fifteenth Amendment expanded on the implications of the Fourteenth Amendment and guaranteed the right to vote to all male citizens. The crucial point is that the definition of citizenship in the United States expanded substantially during Reconstruction era and by 1870 in principle, all African American men were American citizens. (It would be another half century until comparable rights were extended to black and white women.)

The participants in Reconstruction fully understood that contests over political and civil rights could not be isolated from the economic reconstruction of the South and the nation. For blacks, the end of slavery of course did not mean the end of work, but rather an end to forced labor. Blacks relished the prospect of receiving the benefits of their own labor. But the vast majority of blacks emerged from slavery lacking the ability to buy land and confronted by a white community opposed to extending credit to blacks or to selling them property. At the same time, that whites looked for a system of labor and the Black Codes to bind blacks to the land, as slavery had, freed people coveted land of their own and struggled to be masters of their own time and labor.

Former slave owners in the South were vigilant about protecting their interests. Before the Civil War labor was the key to wealth in the South after the war land was the key. White landowners understood the power the new circumstances gave them, but they could not control the largest external forces that shaped the region&rsquos economy. It was these powerful national and international forces that guaranteed the restored nation had a more unif ied economy than ever before.

Railroads helped open the South's economy to national forces. Arguably railroads did as much as anything else to stitch the nation back together again. The late 1860s and 1870s were a period of breakneck railroad construction and consolidation. Although it is commonplace to dwell on the completion of a transcontinental rail line in 1869, the extensive reconstruction and expansion of southern railroads destroyed during the Civil War was of equal importance. Northern railroad companies and investors loomed large in these developments. Nothing more dramatically symbolized the emerging integrated national market than the massive regional effort on a single day in 1886 when all of the small gauge rail lines in the South were moved several inches wider and realigned with the rail lines of the North.

In short, the South was effectively brought into a national system of credit and labor as a result of Reconstruction. &ldquoFree&rdquo labor, rather than some system of coerced labor would prevail in the region. Neither serfdom nor peasantry would replace slavery. And southern landowners and freedmen, whether they wanted to or not, were incorporated into the national credit markets.

Let us now take stock of the answers to the questions that we began with. On what terms would the nation be reunited? In short, on national terms. Property was not expropriated or redistributed in the South. Reforms that were imposed on the South&mdashthe Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, for example&mdashapplied to the entire nation.

What implications did the Civil War have for citizenship? The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments represented stunning expansions of the rights of citizenship to former slaves. Even during the depths of the Jim Crow era in the early twentieth century, white supremacists never succeeded in returning citizenship to its pre-Civil War boundaries. African Americans especially insisted that they may have been deprived of their rights after the Civil War but they had neither surrendered nor lost their claim to those rights.

What would be the future of the restored nation&rsquos economy? In simplest terms, Abraham Lincoln&rsquos famous observation that a house divided cannot stand was translated into policy. However impoverished and credit starved, the former Confederacy was integrated back into the national economy, laying the foundation for the future emergence of the most dynamic industrial economy in the world. African Americans would not be enslaved or assigned to a separate economic status. But nor would African Americans as a group be provided with any resources with which to compete.

Orientando a discussão do aluno

Possible student perceptions of Reconstruction Aside from the challenge of organizing the complex events of the Reconstruction era into a narrative accessible to students, the biggest challenge is to help students understand what was possible and what was not possible after the Civil War. Students, for example, may be inclined to believe that white Americans were never committed to racial equality in the first place so Reconstruction was doomed to failure. Some students may fixate on northern white hypocrisy many white Republicans pressured southern voters to pass the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments even while they opposed its passage in the North. Yet others may emphasize that citizenship rights for blacks were hollow because blacks had no economic resources blacks in postwar America could not easily escape an economic system that was slavery by another name. Each of these positions is worth discussion, but each tends to flatten out the motivations and behavior of the actors in the drama of Reconstruction. And virtually all of these interpretations presumed that the outcome of Reconstruction was both inevitable and wholly outside the hands of African Americans.

Ask students to design their own version of Reconstruction. One approach that I have adopted in hopes of countering these tendencies is to ask students to state their &ldquofirst principles&rdquo that they think Reconstruction should have pursued and established. If your students are like mine, many will propose that Reconstruction should have guaranteed equal rights for all Americans. I then ask them to define what those rights should have been. At this point, even students who are in broad agreement about the principle of equal rights for all Americans may differ on the specific content of those rights. For example, some may stress economic equality whereas others may emphasize equality of opportunity. In any case, the next step is to ask the students to think about how they would have turned their principle into policy. Those students who may have stressed economic equality may then sketch out a plan for &ldquoforty acres and mule&rdquo for each former slave. Those who stress the need for equal opportunity may sketch out the need for public education for freed people and other southerners. I next ask students where the requisite resources for these policies would come from. For example, where would the federal government have gotten the land and money to provide former slaves with land and livestock? If the federal government had expropriated land and resources from former slave masters, what consequences would that policy have had for private property elsewhere in the United States? (If the government could take lake and property from former slave masters, would it then have had precedent to later take land and property from former slaves?) What would the consequences of this policy have been for the production of cotton, the nation&rsquos most important export? In response to students who propose universal public education, I ask them about the funding for these new schools. Who would pay for them? If taxes needed to be raised, what and whom should have been taxed? Should the schools have been integrated? If so, how would the resistance of white southerners to integrated schools be overcome? If not, would separate schools for blacks and white have legitimized segregation?

Through this exercise, students gain a better sense of how all of the facets of Reconstruction were interrelated and how any broad principle was shaped by the circumstances, constraints, and traditions of the age. Equally important, students will better appreciate how astute African Americans were in pursuing their goals during the Reconstruction era. They recognized that the Civil War had ended slavery and destroyed the antebellum South, but it had not created a clean slate on which they had a free hand to write their future. Instead, black Americans were constantly gauging what was possible and who they might ally with to translate their long-suppressed hopes into a secure and rewarding future in American society.

The role of African Americans in Reconstruction The search by African Americans for allies during Reconstruction is the focus of another worthwhile exercise. It is essential for students to understand that African Americans were active participants in Reconstruction. They were not the dupes of northern politicians. Nor were they cowed by southern whites. This said, African Americans never had decisive control over Reconstruction. Whatever their goals, they needed allies. With that fundamental reality in mind, Ask students to identify the major stakeholders in Reconstruction. I ask students to draw up a list of the groups in American society who had a major stake/role in Reconstruction. Typically, students will identify the major actors as white northerners, white southerners and blacks. I then press the students to break those groups down further. Were all white northerners alike in their attitudes toward blacks? Were all white southerners? And were there any sub-groups of African Americans that should be distinguished? After this revision, my students typically distinguish between pro- and anti-black white northerners, elite white southerners, middling white southerners, blacks who were free before the Civil War, and recently freed slaves.

Once we have identified the actors in Reconstruction, we then systematically work thorough this list and consider what interests each of these groups might have shared. Put another way, on what grounds could each (any) of these groups found common cause with African Americans? Take middling whites for example. Many students may wonder why poor white southerners did not forge an alliance with former slaves. After all, they had poverty in common. Some students might suggest that poor whites refused to acknowledge their common condition with African Americans because of racism a poor white man, in short, may have been poor but he could insist that at least he was a member of the &ldquosuperior&rdquo white race. I also point out that poor whites and poor blacks may both have been poor, but they were poor in very different ways so that they were at best tentative allies. Poor whites typically were land poor that is, they owned land but usually not the other resources that would have allowed them to exploit their land intensively. Black southerners were poor and landless most had no significant holding of land to exploit. Consequently, when blacks called for expanded social services such as schools to meet their needs, they were implicitly calling for additional taxes to fund the services. What would be taxed to fund these new schools and services? In the nineteenth century, tangible property, and specifically land, was the principal taxed property. Taxes on the land of poor whites, then, helped to underwrite new schools in the Reconstruction South. These taxes, in the end, drove a wedge between poor whites and African Americans and ensured that black southerners could not take for granted the support of poor white southerners who bridled at paying taxes on their land to fund new schools. Or take the example of white northerners. Even some white Republicans who were unsettled by calls for racial equality could be allies of former slaves. Republicans believed that without the support of black voters in the South their party might surrender national power to the Democratic Party. Expediency alone, then, coaxed some white Republicans to support political rights for blacks. But as soon as the Republican Party garnered a sufficient national majority so that the support of southern blacks was no longer essential, these same northern Republicans urged the party to jettison its pledge to defend African American rights.

This exercise helps students see African Americans as actors in Reconstruction, but actors constrained by the actions of other actors. This exercise turns Reconstruction into a dynamic process of contestation, negotiation, and compromise, which, of course, is precisely what Reconstruction was.

What resources did the formerly enslaved bring to freedom? Finally, another possible approach is to focus students&rsquo attention on the resources that African Americans could tap as they made the transition from slavery to freedom. I ask students to consider the needs that African Americans, as free Americans, had in 1865 and the resources they had at their disposal to allow them to survive as free Americans. This exercise prompts students to consider the resources and institutions that blacks already possessed in 1865 as well as those that blacks would subsequently need to build. In other words, many slaves possessed skills (some could read, some were skilled artisans) and had built institutions (particularly religious institutions) that were foundations for black communities after emancipation. Taking these into account, students can then consider what additional resources former slaves needed and how they might have acquired these resources. This approach to Reconstruction inevitably leads to discussion of the possibilities and limits of black self-help as well as the prospects for meaningful assistance to blacks from white Americans. It also often leads to valuable discussions of the merits and drawbacks of the racially exclusive institutions that emerged during Reconstruction, such as schools and churches. Students gain a better appreciation, for example, of why blacks preferred schools taught by black teachers and black denominations even while students also recognize the subsequent vulnerability of these institutions.

No era of American history has produced hotter scholarly debates than Reconstruction. Historians may have written more about the Civil War but they have argued louder and longer about Reconstruction. With a few notable exceptions, however, most of the scholarship on Reconstruction from the late nineteenth century to the 1960s ignored or denied the prominent role of African Americans in the era&rsquos events. Blacks were rendered as the pawns and playthings of whites, whether they be white northerners or southerners. The most notable exception to this willful silence about blacks and Reconstruction was W. E. B. Du Bois&rsquos Black Reconstruction (1935). Du Bois dissented from the then current interpretation of Reconstruction as a failed experiment in social engineering by placing the former slaves and the battle over the control of their labor at the center of his story. For him, Reconstruction was a failure not because blacks were unworthy of it but because white southerners and their northern allies sabotaged it. Not until the 1960s did a new generation of professional historians begin to reach similar conclusions. Spurred on by the civil rights struggle, which was commonly referred to as the &ldquoSecond Reconstruction,&rdquo historians systematically studied all phases of Reconstruction. In the process, they fundamentally revised the portrait of African Americans. John Hope Franklin, in Reconstruction, Kenneth Stampp, in Era of Reconstruction, and others recast African Americans and their Republican allies as principled and progressive minded. By the 1970s, a subsequent wave of scholarship began to revise the largely positive take on the Reconstruction offered by Franklin, Stampp, et. al. Now Reconstruction was seen as an era marked by muddled policies, inadequate resources, and faltering commitment. William Gillette&rsquos Retreat from Reconstruction (1979) was the fullest expression of this interpretation. Eric Foner&rsquos Reconstruction synthesized the previous quarter century of scholarship on the period and offered the richest account yet of the role of African Americans in shaping Reconstruction. Foner also placed the accomplishments of Reconstruction in a comparative framework and concluded that the rights that the former slaves acquired during the era were exceptional when compared to those in any other post-emancipation society in the western hemisphere. Reconstruction may have left the former slaves with &ldquonothing but freedom&rdquo but that freedom, Foner stressed, was written into the Constitution and was never completely compromised.

Since the publication of Foner&rsquos work, most scholarship on Reconstruction has been devoted to topics that had previously been ignored by scholars. For example, the roles of black women, the struggle to develop a system of labor to replace slavery, and the emergence of black institutions have all been the focus of recent scholarly monographs. Two recent works that build on these works and suggest new directions for scholarship on Reconstruction are Heather Cox Richardson&rsquos West From Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War (2007) and Steve Hahn&rsquos A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South, From Slavery to the Great Migration. Richardson highlights the importance of the Trans-Mississippi West in the political machinations and economic visions of the architects of Reconstruction while Hahn highlights the shared ideological values and cultural resources that sustained southern blacks in their struggle for economic and political power in the postbellum South.

W. Fitzhugh Brundage was a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 1995-96. He is the William B. Umstead Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Frederick Douglass: The slave who became a statesman

The remarkable rise of Frederick Douglass, an agitator, reformer, orator, writer, artist and former slave.

Though he started life as a slave, Frederick Douglass became an abolitionist, orator, writer, statesman and ambassador. He liberated himself in 1838 and in 1845 published his first autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave," (The Anti-Slavery Office, 1845). The book, alongside his work for the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, helped him become one of the most famous African American men of his era.

Born into slavery

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born around February 1818, although no records exist of the exact date) in Talbot County, Maryland. His mother was sent away to another plantation when he was a baby, and he saw her only a handful of times in the dark of night, when she would walk 12 miles to visit him. She died when he was seven years old.

Douglass was moved several times throughout his childhood, living on several Maryland farms and in households in the city of Baltimore. Douglass would later claim in his autobiography that his move to Baltimore "laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity."

One slaveholder, Sophia Auld, took a great interest in Douglass when he was 12 and taught him the alphabet, but her husband disapproved of teaching slaves to read and write. Eventually, Auld ceased her lessons and hid his reading materials.

But Douglass continued to find ways to learn, trading bread with street children for reading lessons. The more he read, the more tools he gained to question and condemn slavery. By 1834, while working on a new plantation, Douglass set up a secret Sunday school where around 40 slaves would gather and learn to read the New Testament. After neighboring plantation owners became aware of these clandestine meetings, they attacked the group with stones and clubs, permanently dispersing the school.

In 1837, Douglass met Anna Murray, a free Black woman in Baltimore who was five years his senior. The pair quickly fell in love and Murray encouraged him to escape. The following year, in 1838, aged 20, Douglass made his break from the shackles of slavery.

Escape and the abolitionist movement

In under 24 hours Douglass traveled from Maryland, a slave state, to New York, a free state, boarding northbound trains, ferries, and steamboats. Along the way, Douglass even disguised himself in a sailor&rsquos uniform to avoid detection. Upon setting foot in New York, Douglass was free to decide the direction of his own life for the first time. Murray joined him and they were quickly married, settling on the new name "Douglass." According to his autobiography, the new surname was inspired by Sir Walter Scott&rsquos poem "The Lady of the Lake."

Moving between abolitionist stronghold towns in Massachusetts, the pair became active members of the church community attended by many prominent former slaves, including Sojourner Truth and later Harriet Tubman.

By 1839 Douglass was a licensed preacher, a role in which he honed his speaking skills. He was also an active attendee of abolitionist meetings and, at age 23, gave his first anti-slavery speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society Convention in Nantucket.

As one of few men to have escaped slavery with a willingness and ability to speak about his experiences, Douglass became a living embodiment of the impacts of slavery and an image of Black stature and intellect.

Em uma entrevista com PBS, historian David W. Blight, author of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” (Simon & Schuster, 2018), claimed that certain white abolitionists "wanted Douglass to simply get up and tell his story, to tell his narrative on the platform. They didn't want him to speak about Northern racism, to take on the whole picture of the anti-slavery movement as much as he did." This strained Douglass&rsquo relationships with some other major abolitionists. Nevertheless, Douglass continued to recognize the power of challenging and reshaping harmful caricatures of Black people.

Douglass published his autobiografia in 1845. Its subsequent success and acclaim led historian James Matlack to describe it as "the best-known and most influential slave narrative written in America" in a 1960 article from the journal Phylon.

As his fame grew &mdash and as threats to his life and freedom from pro-slavery groups also grew, according to a memoir written by his daughter Rosetta Douglass Sprague in a 1923 edition of The Journal of Negro History &mdash Douglass left his family and spent two years touring Ireland and Britain between 1845 and 1847. He spent the trip lecturing and meeting with members of Britain&rsquos abolition movement. It was during this time that Douglass gained legal freedom and protection from recapture, with English acquaintances raising the funds to officially buy his freedom.

He returned to the U.S. with an additional £500 donated by English supporters and used it to set up his first abolitionist newspaper, "The North Star." Alongside this, he and his wife were active in the Underground Railroad, taking over 400 escaped slaves into their home.

Women's suffrage

Douglass was an advocate for dialogue and alliances across ideological divides. Notably, he was a supporter of women&rsquos suffrage campaigns and was a close friend of women's suffrage campaigners Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

However, Douglass came into conflict with the women's suffrage movement through his support of the Fifteenth Amendment, passed on Feb. 26, 1869, which gave Black men the right to vote, but not women. Douglass's stance on the Fifteenth Amendment, and the opposition of some women's suffrage campaigners to Black suffrage, caused a rift within the American Equal Rights Association (AERA), which broke up in 1869, according to the Arlington Public Library.

Douglass continued to argue in his book "Life and Times of Frederick Douglass," (De Wolfe, Fiske & Co. 1892) that the disenfranchisement of women was equally damaging to the United States as the denial of Black citizens' right to vote. "I would give woman a vote, give her a motive to qualify herself to vote, precisely as I insisted upon giving the colored man the right to vote," he wrote.

The “Fourth of July” speech

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? . To him, your celebration is a sham.

Frederick Douglass

On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave one of his most famous speeches, "What to the slave is the Fourth of July," to the Ladies&rsquo Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, New York.

"I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July!" ele disse. " What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham."

In the speech, Douglass made the case that positive statements about the U.S. and its independence were an affront to enslaved people, who could not share in the nation&rsquos celebration of liberty.

Political career

Douglass published three versions of his life story, in 1845, 1855 and 1881 (with a revised edition in 1892). By the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, he was one of the most famous Black men in the U.S. as well as both an ardent supporter and honest critic of Abraham Lincoln. Later, during the Reconstruction era, Douglass received several political appointments, including President of the Freedman&rsquos Savings Bank.

Douglass supported Ulysses S. Grant's 1868 presidential campaign amid a violent period of backlash against newly emancipated slaves and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Later, in 1889, President Harrison appointed him as the U.S. Minister Resident and Consul-General to Haiti, and the chargé d&rsquoaffaires to Santo Domingo.

In 1872 he became the first African American to be nominated for vice president of the United States (though without his knowledge or approval).

Later years and legacy

The end of Douglass' life was turbulent. According to the U.S. Library of Congress timeline of his life, he was forced to flee into exile after being accused of collaborating with radical abolitionists who attempted to raid Harpers Ferry in 1859. In 1872, per the New York Times, his home was burned down in an arson attack, causing him to move to Washington, D.C. with his family.

His family life also became a focus of gossip and scandal: According to Smithsonian magazine, he was rumored to have had two affairs with white women while his wife Anna was alive. She died in 1880, and Douglass was married again less than two years later to Helen Pitts, a white suffragist and abolitionist 20 years his junior.

His affairs and controversial second marriage tainted Douglass&rsquo reputation. Later accounts like Rosetta Douglass Sprague&rsquos memories of her mother cast a sympathetic light on their mother, Anna Douglass, who remained Douglass&rsquo most ardent supporter through controversy and infidelity.

Douglass continued touring and traveling, speaking and campaigning into his final days &mdash to his very last moments. After receiving a standing ovation for a speech on women&rsquos suffrage in 1895, the 77-year-old Douglass collapsed from a heart attack. Thousands passed by his coffin to pay their respects, and he continues to be honored by countless statues, remembrances and plaques across the globe.

This article was adapted from a previous version published in All About History magazine, a Future Ltd. publication. To learn more about some of history's most incredible stories, subscribe to All About History revista.


3. Sexual Assault

A certain group of enslaved women were labelled “Jezebels” by their owners. These women were alleged to be more promiscuous than their counterparts and were often subjected to sexual abuse several times throughout the day. While white men forced these “Jezebels” to have sex with them, they claimed that it was the enslaved woman’s fault for being so loose. Although female slaves are the ones that suffer this most, sometimes, males are also subjected to sexual abuse by promiscuous mistresses or forced to have sex with fellow slaves to produce children who’ll work for their masters. Slaves are raped without having anyone to report to, instead, the white slave owners expect them to be grateful for having sex with them, proudly saying that they are “doing them a favour.”

On several occasions, they may be impregnated and this will in no way exempt them from their normal daily routines and punishments as slaves, neither will their masters take ownership or responsibility of the child when born: instead, the children only increase the number of slaves and hands to work in the field which is to the advantage of the slave masters. Also, the mistresses transfer their anger and aggression for their husband’s infidelity to the abused slave woman by beating and maltreating them. Some of them are forced into marriages without being elevated to the normal position of a wife. Rather, in order for her husband to avoid witnessing when they are punished or tortured for one offence or another, he’ll send her to a distant plantation where she’ll continue her slavery practice.


Born to former slaves, Mary McLeod Bethune was Midtown's beacon and much more

Mary McLeod Bethune was born on a South Carolina farm in 1875, the 15th child of former slaves.

That humble beginning did not deter her. Bethune became a renowned educator. With $1.50 as capital, she founded what is now Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach on the site of a former dump in the impoverished Midtown neighborhood.

She also became a civil and human rights leader, a champion for women and young people, a close confidante of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and an adviser to five U.S. presidents.

By the time she died in 1955, Bethune was Daytona Beach's most famous citizen, improving the city and country even as she and other Black people endured segregation.

This summer, a statue of Bethune is slated to be placed in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. It will be the first statue of a Black person in the hall.

According to B-CU's website, Mary McLeod worked in the fields alongside her parents and siblings, until she enrolled at the age of 10 in the one-room Trinity Presbyterian Mission School. She learned to read, and, as she later noted, "the whole world opened to me." She went on to study at Scotia Seminary in North Carolina and Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with the goal of becoming a missionary. But when no missionary openings were available, she became a teacher.

She married Albertus Bethune. The dream of opening her own school took Mary McLeod Bethune to Florida, first to Palatka and then to Daytona Beach, where she started the school that would become B-CU.

Her influence in the Midtown neighborhood and Daytona Beach was enormous. Bethune especially championed the education of young Black men and women. She also played a major role in maintaining relations between white and Black people in what was then a segregated society.

Her influence soon stretched well beyond the city. B-CU's website notes that Bethune became a national leader on civil rights, education, women and young people.

As the president of the State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, she organized the group to fight against school segregation and inadequate healthcare for Black children. She later became president of the prestigious National Association of Colored Women's Clubs and founded the National Council of Negro Women.

Bethune was appointed to numerous national commissions, including the President Calvin Coolidge Administration's Child Welfare Conference and the President Herbert Hoover Administration's National Commission on Child Welfare and Commission on Home Building and Home Ownership. She eventually became an adviser on minority affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Bethune's efforts in Midtown never wavered. "She enlisted leaders of government and industry to support her vision and dreams for her school in Daytona Beach, for social justice and positive change for all," B-CU's biography states.

"Wherever Dr. Bethune saw a need, she found a way to meet that need and move society closer to her vision. When a Black student was turned away from the hospital in Daytona Beach, she opened a hospital (in 1912) to serve the Black community. When the nation mobilized resources for the first and second World Wars, she pressed for the integration of the American Red Cross and Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. She led voter registration drives and anti-lynching campaigns."

A diverse cross-section of Daytona Beach is now involved in raising the funds needed to create a marble statue of Bethune and place it in Statuary Hall.

Attorneys, business leaders, local politicians and B-CU officials joined forces to raise more than a half-million dollars for the statue. Master sculptor Nilda Comas is now at work in her studio in Italy, turning a multi-ton block of white marble into an 11-foot-tall statue of Bethune.

The statue should be done this spring, and the hope is it will be placed in Statuary Hall next summer on Bethune's birthday, July 10. She will replace a statue of Confederate General Kirby Smith, who represented Florida in the hall for decades.

"Our board of directors represents our community, the state of Florida and the United States of America," said Nancy Lohman, chairman of the local board that's been raising money for Bethune's statue.

"We are Black, white, Hispanic, multi-generational, male, female, Republican and Democrat," Lohman said. "We proudly come together and humbly serve our community and our state as we bring to fruition the marble statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune."

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry is also a member of the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Fund, Inc. Board of Directors. The board has raised nearly a half-million dollars for the statue, much of it from local companies, but about $6,000 from B-CU students who each chipped in $1.50. The effort still needs an additional $60,000.

"I look at (Bethune) as the matriarch of our city," Henry said. "It didn't matter to her who you were. She brought people together to get things done."

Mary McLeod Bethune is buried on the grounds of B-CU, and her home still stands on the campus.


Sobre esta coleção

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA). At the conclusion of the Slave Narrative project, a set of edited transcripts was assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. In 2000-2001, with major support from the Citigroup Foundation, the Library digitized the narratives from the microfilm edition and scanned from the originals 500 photographs, including more than 200 that had never been microfilmed or made publicly available. This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress.


40. The Transatlantic Slave Trade Saw Millions of Africans Shipped to the New World

The transatlantic slave trade was one of history&rsquos darker episodes, which lasted for almost four hundred years, from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. It was part of a triangular trade that linked the New World, Europe, and Africa. Raw goods were shipped from the New World to Europe, and manufactured goods were shipped from Europe to Africa, where they were traded for slaves who were shipped to the New World, to toil in the production of more raw goods.

While it lasted, the transatlantic slave trade saw the transportation of an estimated 12 &ndash 15 million Africans to the New World for a life of slavery that that was often dark, cruel, brutal, and short. At least it was for those who survived the horrific Middle Passage from Africa to the New World, during which millions of slaves perished.


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