I am deep into the topic of Reconstruction. The events, personalities, and issues speak loudly to us today. In 1871 the U.S. Congress took testimony to document the KKK’s violent response to Reconstruction. I want to share the words of those who suffered that violence. Black legislators made some inspiring speeches at the state and national level and I want to share their words. It will be next Monday before I post again, but I share these words from Eric Foner from his definitive work on Reconstruction. These are from his first edition of Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution in 1988.
“Over a century ago, prodded by the demands of four million men and women just emerging from slavery, American made their first attempt to live up to the noble professions of their political creed—something few societies had ever done. The effort produced a sweeping redefinition of the nation’s pubic life and a violent reaction that ultimately destroyed much, by by no means all, of what had been accomplished. From the enforcement of the rights of citizens to the stubborn problems of economic and racial justice, the issues central to Reconstruction are as old as the American republic, and as contemporary as the inequalities that still inflict our society.”