Reconstruction was difficult for everyone after the American Civil War, but it was extremely hard for the Black community. Eventhough Slavery was abolished in 1865, most slavery characteristics were still seen. In “Black Reconstruction in America” by W. E. B. Du Bois, it is stated that “The southern states had actually relapsed into barbarism” (674), the 13th Amendment in the U.S Constitution seems to have not made an impact in the southern state. White people continued to beat and kill people in the Black community.
W. E. B. Du Bois wrote “Black Reconstruction in America” to inform the readers about the continued injustice of the Black community after the American Civil War. Most Blacks were not given the opportunity for economic growth, it was almost impossible for them to gain independence and succeed. “A number of Negroes were employed in building the airline railroad between Atlanta and Charlotte. Disguised men went there, took the Negroes and whipped them, and forced them back to the farms to work.” (Du Bois, 674), this states that when Blacks try to increase their economic status, Whites will forbid them from doing so. This makes the Black community return to farm labor, the same intense labor they did when they were enslaved. The southern states leave the Blacks with economic struggles. Du Bois states that “In order to win, the South had to make Negroes into thieves, monsters and idiots” (679), since the Blacks are struggling economically because of the lack of opportunity, Whites leave them with nothing, so some blacks are driven to steal for survival. Whites use this against the Black community to negatively criticize them, which is so unfair because Whites are the cause for this.
This reading is important to me because after the reading I was aware of the continued injustice of the black community after slavery has been abolished. I could use this information for present situations. Just because a law is placed doesn’t mean that the law will be followed, therefore, I need to be aware of our country’s status.