Sunday, February 21, 2010

Black History Month Part II Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and The Great Migration. Moving from Slavery to the Ghettos

The civil war ended slavery Andrew Johnson was lenient on the Confederate States which made the Radical Republicans angry. They passed the 14TH admendment giving African Americans American Citizenship and forced the Confederate South to ratify these laws or be refused back into the Union. The 15TH admendment gave Universal male sufferage and black men could now vote in the South. There were a lot of black men elected to office during this time there were blacks in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Southern Whites were losing control and used terriorism against African Americans. Once Restoration ended and the Federal Government left the south several states enacted "black codes" which kept black people from enjoying their new found freedom and keeping them as a source of labor. It is during this period of time that lynching of black people was on the rise. Black men had the right to vote but if they did they took the chance of being lynched.

Jim Crow was born out of the black code laws and everything in public was segregrated based on race. Public fountains and rest rooms had two seperate signs one saying "Whites only" and "Colored only" African American men were lynched for any number of reasons. They were also beaten and castrated. "Reckless eyeballing" or looking at a white woman could get you killed in the South.

The North also had Jim Crow but it wasn't legal but it still existed. Lynchings also happened in the North although not as much and states like PA close to the Mason/Dixon line had the majority of lynchings in the North.

Slaves became share croppers who were often cheated.

African Americans began to leave the South often in the middle of the night and began moving to the North. This began the move from Southern Plantations to Northern Ghettos.

A family would move North and establish a life then go back home and bring more people out of the south into the ghetto.

This frightened the Southern Whites who saw their source of cheap labor disappering to the North The KKK would often try to frighten people into remaining by whipping people or lynching a couple of people who tried to escape. This lead to the middle of the night migration.

This 100 year period was one of the darkest periods of African American history. There were more black men, women, and children killed during this period then during slavery. During slavery black people were valuable property the Masters would have killed a poor white person for killing a slave and get away with it.

Once slaves were free and no longer valuable their lives became less important and the result was wide spread lynchings and abuse.

During this period of time the Harlem Renisence took place African American art like books, music, and poetry were all the rage. Whites wanted to read books written by African Americans. They wanted to sit in places like the Cotton club and listen to black music.

No comments: