Presentation on theme: "Life After Slavery What do you recall about social changes that came about during the era of reconstruction? Write predictions about African Americans’"— Presentation transcript:
Life After Slavery What do you recall about social changes that came about during the era of reconstruction? Write predictions about African Americans’ experiences during those years. Southern states, where most African Americans lived, passed laws that deprived African Americans of the vote and forbade them from mixing with whites in public. Segregation made it extremely difficult for African Americans to improve their lives..
Predictable Misunderstandings You may think that African Americans’ day-to- day lives changed greatly after the end of slavery. But, Although African Americans no longer endured some of the tragedies of slavery, such as the breakup of families, many were forced to sign harsh labor contracts with former slaveholders that committed them to performing the same backbreaking agricultural labor and even living in former slave quarters.
Life After Slavery Was life for African Americans after slavery significantly different than during slavery? Why or why not? African Americans formally gained greater rights and freedom after slavery ended. Discrimination nevertheless impeded the progress of African Americans as they sought to participate in American society.
Resistance and Repression Many African Americans living in the post-Reconstruction South were very poor. Some left seeking a better life in the North in what came to be called the “exodus.” Many African Americans joined the Populist Party. Southern Democrats worried that poor whites would join the Populist Party as well, creating a strong coalition. Southern Democrats used scare tactics to win back the poor white vote by warning that support for Populism would cause “Black Republican” rule in the South. Election officials made voting hard for African Americans.
Discussion What unintended result did joining the Populist Party have for African American farmers? Because it feared the power of united African American and poor white farmers, the Southern Democratic Party began to look for ways to disfranchise African Americans, setting the stage for segregation.
Discrimination Discrimination has several meanings. It derives from the Latin word discrimen, meaning “distinction.” A neutral meaning for the term is “the perception of the unique features of something.” It also can mean “the act of distinguishing by finding differences.” In the context of African American history, it describes prejudiced actions and outlooks that isolated African Americans and justified unfair treatment.
Imposing Segregation In the late 1800s, Southern states imposed restrictions that stymied African Americans’ ability to vote. Some states required a poll tax, usually in an amount too much for most poor African Americans. Mississippi required a literacy test. The Civil Rights Act of 1875, which prohibited segregation, was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1883. As a result of the ruling, Southern states legally established racial segregation in public places. Southern states passed Jim Crow laws to enforce discrimination. Often, violent oppression was used in the form of beating, intimidation, and lynching. In 1896, the Supreme Court upheld the notion of “separate but equal” in the case Plessy v. Ferguson, legalizing segregation in the South for more than 50 years.
Discussion How did the ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson affect Southern African Americans? The ruling declared segregation legal, and Southern African Americans faced decades of formal, legal discrimination as a result. What was meant by the term “separate but equal”? It meant that services, facilities, and public accommodations were allowed to be separated by race, on the condition that the quality of each group’s public facilities was to remain equal.
Background Jim Crow was a stereotypical African American character in a nineteenth-century song and dance act. It became a derogatory way of referring to an African American; the name described the laws that were passed to help whites reestablish the white supremacy that had been threatened by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.
Consider the perspectives of Southern African Americans as you discuss the quote.