James T. Rapier: The Reconstruction Era

850 Words4 Pages
In the time period 1863-1877 also known as the Reconstruction Era was a tremulous time for the entire country but it was especially hard on the African-American population. Slavery officially ended in 1865 but in theory carried on for many years after the 13th Amendment was passed. Many people including former President Abraham Lincoln did not support the equality of African-American but supported the idea of a republic and the idea that all men deserved the right to sell their own labor. An important person to remember is James T. Rapier, he was one of the first African- American men to serve in the United States Congress. The Ku Klux Klan, an extremely racist and predijuced group of prominent men, did not like the efforts that Rapier…show more content…
The Ku Klux Klan decided to take matters into their own hands and went after Rapier and other black congressmen. After searching through Rapier’s neighborhood they managed to hang three out of the four black congressman but Rapier managed to escape. When the Civil War ended and the Emancipation Proclamation was released ended the largest slave society in the New World but people did not realize the effects it would have on the Southern culture. After years of tradition and discrimination, slavery was the only way people knew how to survive, the entire country was thrown into a great time of change and uncertainty. “Reconstruction represents a tragedy of enormous proportions. The failure to protect blacks and guarantee their rights had enduring proportions.” (Roark pg.489), to this day we can see the effects that slavery and the reconstruction time era still have on our society. When the reconstruction era ended in 1877, people were “forward-thinkers” and though you can see racist themes for a long while through history, our country progresses further and further towards equality for all.“American history is continuing to struggle over the definition and realization of the nation’s promise” (Roark…show more content…
That’s not the root of the problem sure for some it was just because that’s how it had always been. Racism is not born but bred and passed down through the generations. The core root of it all though is fear, fear that African – Americans were just as good as them, fear that they were smart and capable, and most of all fear of change. It is in human nature to be afraid of the unknown, we crave stability and patterns but this does not mean change is always bad. During this time period instead of embracing the change and learning about the culture, they made assumptions and further damaged the relationship between colored people and whites. They made these shows seem non offensive by making the serious situation been seen in a joking and amusing way. The entertainers claimed to portray authentic African-Americans but in fact “Blackface minstrels were not authentic, even in intention. They were not ethnographers, but professional entertainers whose major concern was to create stage acts that would please their audiences.” (Toll pg. 38-39) Toll repeatedly tells you his opinion throughout the passage without ever coming out right and telling you. If you look closely and read into what he is saying you can clearly tell that he does not support the minstrel

    More about James T. Rapier: The Reconstruction Era

      Open Document