The African-American Odyssey Essay

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The African-American Odyssey
The Promise of Reconstruction, 1865-1868
The emancipation of the African slave who was now disconnected from their traditions and way of life after nearly 300 years, is seemingly a great gush from the dam to the ebbs and flows of the struggle. The end of slavery as we know it, presented a ball of mixed emotions among the nation; North and SOUTH. Some slaves were grossly ecstatic to be free. For example, when a slave girl named Caddy, from Goodman, Mississippi found she was free, went to her mistress, flipped up her dress and told her "Kiss my ass!" On the contrary, some slaves were apprehensive of being free. For example, one elderly slave woman reportedly said, "I ain' no free nigger! I is got a marster
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Sharecropping became a sort of ebb in the river of the African-American progression as far as freedom was concerned. Presented as labor contracts by white land owners, the institution of slavery was extended under a cloud of debt. In which, the black family, oft times became debtors due to the lack of honesty on the account of their white lender. Aside from family, among African-Americans, the "black church" became the most important institution. "Not only did it fill deep spiritual and inspirational needs, it offered enriching music, provided charity and compassion to those in need, developed community and political leaders, and was free of white supervision." With the end of slavery, blacks who then had to attend services with white parishioners who treated them as second class Christians, could now organize and attend their own churches. The advent of the black church definitely brought about a flow in the river of struggle for African-Americans. Education was another "flow" in the river of struggle and a critical means of survival amongst people of color. It coincided alongside freedom. All who were versed in education of all sorts were summoned to teach the freedmen and their children. Teachers from all walks showed. Classes were held in churches, old slave markets, stables, taverns, homes, and former slave cabins. Funding came from various religious and political organizations and the Freedmen's Bureau. Although white teachers helped a
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