The Real Truth about Blacks during Reconstruction
The real truth about African American history has been twisted in many aspects. What blacks did with their lives seems to be unknown and misinterpreted by some historians. To express clarity regarding blacks’ lifestyles after the Civil War and during Reconstruction would be to impartially juxtapose other historians’ viewpoints of blacks. We must ask ourselves, were blacks at this time apathetic, politically unqualified, benighted, and were they compliant when it came to seeking positive change for themselves and their families? We must evaluate African Americans for who they really were during this time instead of disenfranchising their very character.
Blacks were considered to be ambitious and strongly desired self improvement along with an admiration for education by authors such as Foner. They had an eagerness for independence from white control. (Foner, Reconstruction 36) Other historians such as Bailey state that Democracy is a delicate mechanism which requires education and information. The biased viewpoint of this author seems to think the overwhelming majority of blacks could not participate in their government because they lacked this attribute. Bailey’s bigotry indentifies blacks as being childish, immature, socially politically, and emotionally therefore making them unqualified for positions such as politicians.
All the text book extracts described blacks in the most negative way pointing out all the extreme flaws and not portraying the true desire of the black individual at the time. They described blacks as if they were unstable, inconsistent, and illiterate. For example, “Nine-tenths of the 700,000 black adults at this time were illiterate.” (Bailey, 475) Worth wrote that blacks did not have a respect for the common law because they were governed by black codes all their lives. They had no education and in fact when blacks were asked their last names in many cases they could not provide one....