Post-Reconstruction South

Based on the “documentary witness” primary sources and selected “textbook” chapters providing necessary situational context we have read this semester, I have been consistently flabbergasted by the amount of historical similarities in the struggles African Americans have faced with agency and identity. Looking at William Wells Brown’s source, the italicized background “blurb” became incredibly important. There are three key issues Brown notices “resurgent white racism, the withdrawal of most northern liberals from the numerous freedman’s agencies, and the return to power of the traditional white elite had contributed to black regression in economics, politics, education, and wealth” (256). These issues really struck a chord with me because they seem almost parallel to demonstrations being carried out today.

I was also curious to learn more about Boston, Massachusetts. Multiple published black authors we have read lived in Boston toward the end of their life and since this city is in the north, it lends itself to a lesser perception of racism in America’s timeline. That being said, why was the educational/employment opportunities better here for African Americans? Is this only pre- or post-Reconstruction Boston? How censored were black authors in the north as compared to the south?

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