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Reconstruction



  • The Promise and Peril of the "Third Reconstruction"

    by Peniel E. Joseph

    At a time when the nation is balanced precariously between advocates for multiracial democracy and white nationalists, it is important to understand the history and the incompleteness of the expansion of freedom and democracy during Reconstruction. 


  • The Second Floundering

    by Brook Thomas

    Although scholars have identified the Reconstruction Amendments as a redemption of the flaws of the original Constitution, it's important to understand, as critics did at the time, that the 14th and 15th Amendments left many gaps in the American democracy. 



  • W.E.B. DuBois's Abolition Democracy

    by Gerald Horne

    DuBois understood the impossibility of separating a historical analysis of Reconstruction from the political context of Jim Crow racial totalitarianism and exploitative capitalism. 



  • Lies We Teach to Kids about the Reconstruction Era

    by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

    "The narrative of Reconstruction perpetuated by many state social studies standards is part of a longer and larger struggle over the past, the latest episode of which can be seen in a rash of new restrictions on what teachers can tell young people about our nation’s history.



  • The Legacy of the Black Elected Officials of Reconstruction

    by Olivia B. Waxman and Arpita Aneja

    The Supreme Court's decision to reject a challenge to Alabama's political districting map calls to mind the often violent politics that overthrew Reconstruction; the brief period when Black southerners elected their fellows to represent them stands as an example of what multiracial democracy means in practice.



  • For Trump and Trumpists, the Law is Always White

    by Melissa Gira Grant

    In singling out the Black elected officials who thwarted his bid to steal the election and are investigating his political and business affairs, Trump evoked the Reconstruction-era rhetoric of white southerns under attack, which, as Eric Foner wrote, justified a massive wave of racist political violence. 



  • Alabama's Capitol is a Crime Scene, with a 120 Year Coverup

    The Alabama Capitol in Montgomery was the first seat of the Confederate government and the place where white Democrats ratified a Jim Crow constitution in 1901. You'd learn little of this by touring the museum-like building. 



  • State Standards are Failing to Teach Reconstruction and Erasing the Black Freedom Struggle

    by Ana Rosado, Gideon Cohn-Postar and Mimi Eisen

    A common thread connecting public ignorance of American history and the politicization of history curricula is the systemic erasure of the history of Reconstruction. This report considers how states currently mandate the teaching of the era and what they could do better. 



  • The Right's 1877 Project

    Helen Andrews's recent "American Conservative" column revives the myths that Reconstruction was a "tragic era" and that Black disenfranchisement was a force for progress, troubling indicators of the current right's views of democracy. 



  • Ghosts of Mississippi

    by Charles M. Blow

    The Times columnist argues that the oral arguments in the SCOTUS abortion case recall the bitter history of disenfranchisement in Mississippi, and the subsequent decades when rights were stripped away from Mississippians without democratic process.



  • Searching for Descendants of Racist Terrorism

    Wilmington, North Carolina resident Tim Pinnick has partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative and numerous volunteers to try to locate every living descendant of the victims of the white supremacist coup that overthrew the city's biracial government in 1898.