Historian Eric Foner: Broken Promises Of Reconstruction Relevant To Today's Racial Justice MovementHistorians in the News
tags: historiography, racism, Jim Crow, Reconstruction, Eric Foner
Historian Eric Foner said misconceptions about the Reconstruction era helped uphold white supremacy in the South, and a greater understanding of the period can provide context for the economic demands of Black protesters today.
Foner told Hill.TV that Reconstruction was portrayed by early 20th century historians as a corrupt era, and that the advent of Jim Crow laws helped restore governance in the South. But a reexamination of the period -- and the economic promises to African Americans that went unmet -- can help explain some of the disparities seen today, in which the assets held by Black family assets are, on average, 10 percent that of white families.
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