‘the Slaves Went Free and Stood for a Brief Moment in the Sun’ Du Bois; How Valid Is This View?

892 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
‘The Slaves went free and stood for a brief moment in the sun’ Du Bois; How valid is this view?
In 1865 reconstruction begun with the aim of securing racial equality between blacks and whites in the southern states. Du Bois believes that during this period blacks ‘stood for a brief moment in the sun’. There were significant improvements to black lies that took place during this period such as their freedom of movement, re-unification of family units and improvements in education. However reconstruction also failed to secure racial equality in many ways. Black people were still economically deprived and there was no real political equality as most black people were prevented form voting in the south and most had to live with the threat of
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There was also an increase in blacks in more respected careers such as teaching, law, medicine and politics. This increase in education was a significant improvement to the lives of blacks that reconstruction allowed as black people were able to gain an education and improve their lifestyle and social position.
However reconstruction failed to provide complete equality for black people. Many still had to live in fear of white supremacy groups. A hugely significant white supremacy group was the KKK. They were an organisation that opposed any notion of racial equality. They used violent intimidation, terrorist violence and harassment in order to prevent black people exercising their rights of equality. This meant reconstruction failed to allow black people the security of their equality and many still had to live in fear of racist violence.
Another failure of reconstruction was that it failed to secure black people the right to vote. In many states clauses were created in order to prevent black people from voting. Whites claimed blacks were immature, irrational, and unfit to vote. On white southern states that black people were ‘not fit to perform the supreme function of citizenship’ and so should not be allowed the right to vote. Many blacks were prevented from voting by white supremacy groups. Rifle clubs and the red shirts were two significant groups that used violence and intimidation

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