Reconstruction And The Reconstruction Era

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Most Americans are familiar with the era following the Civil War known as Reconstruction. History teachers mention that during this time the “Black Codes” were enacted, the Ku Klux Klan was formed and rampantly terrorized blacks, and America broke its promise of farmland to former slaves. Students are taught that white southerners used every means to prevent blacks from obtaining their rightful place as American citizens. Yet, this version of history – although accurate – is skewed. It is a version of history analogous to that described by none other than former President Obama, who, when condemning remarks made about America by his pastor, said quite correctly, “they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America.” This is especially true given the recent fad of removing, or seeking to remove, statues in our country. Normally, when American history is taught the negative perspective is emphasized. This is especially true when the subject is race in America – and particularly true in schools and colleges in the northeastern United States. The Reconstruction Era is no exception. If anything, it has proven to be fertile ground for those seeking to divide America by race. While all the horror tales were true, there were also incidents of a redeeming nature that rarely, if ever, recited. Historian Emory Thomas tells of one such

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