G@G Relearn U.S. History Session 4—The ‘Jim Crow’ Era in American History—1890 to the 1960s
Mick Chantler, Instructor
Register for Session Four: Black Americans and Reconstruction
Thursday, December 15 (note change of day)
The idealism engendered by the Abolitionist movement during the Civil War era did not survive the period of Reconstruction. By the 1880s, most Americans wanted to forget “the late unpleasantries” and move on with the business of settling the west and building a world-class economy. Consequently, Southerners were given the green light to regulate their internal affairs as they saw fit, and consign their Black population to a degraded position in society. The
Federal Government looked the other way as cities and states throughout the land (and not just in the South) segregated social and political institutions by race, denied Blacks the franchise, and reneged on the promise of equality enshrined in the Reconstruction Era constitutional settlement. Additionally, of course, Blacks were subjected to appalling extra-legal violence meted out by terrorist groups like the KKK. It was a dark period for American Blacks, and few whites on either side of the Mason-Dixon Line seemed to care about ameliorating the situation. In this final talk we will look at the various ways white society systematically degraded and humiliated Blacks, and established what some historians call “herrenvolk democracy”—a political system guaranteeing legal equality for whites while casting African-Americans into outer darkness.