"Bury Me Not in a Land of Slaves": African-Americans in the Time of Reconstruction

Overview

In the mid-1860s, the plaintive voice of an African-American writer, poet, and lecturer, Frances E.W. Harper, echoed the longings of generations of black men and women, struggling against the chains of slavery in a land dedicated to freedom and liberty: All that my yearning spirit craves, Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

When at last those chains were broken, after a bitter war that divided the nation, the emancipated people rejoiced at their first glimpse of freedom. But ...

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Overview

In the mid-1860s, the plaintive voice of an African-American writer, poet, and lecturer, Frances E.W. Harper, echoed the longings of generations of black men and women, struggling against the chains of slavery in a land dedicated to freedom and liberty: All that my yearning spirit craves, Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

When at last those chains were broken, after a bitter war that divided the nation, the emancipated people rejoiced at their first glimpse of freedom. But the road ahead would be perilous and cruel. The Reconstruction period -- from the end of the Civil War to 1877 -- was perhaps the most hope-filled and the most devastating for the nation's African-American population.

An account of African-American life in the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War, based on first-person narratives, contemporary documents, and other historical sources.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Voya Reviews
Using primary sources, illustrations from the 1860s and 1870s, short biographies of African American leaders during Reconstruction, quotations, and personal stories, Hansen has developed a detailed account of the events surrounding the period from 1863 to 1877. Abolition engendered decisions on where to live and work, searches for family members, and changes in the economics and politics of the South. The creation of the Freedmen's Bureau, the Reconstruction plans of Lincoln and Johnson, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the passage of the Thirteenth through Fifteenth Amendments, and the growth of schools are well described. The author also covers the Black Codes, the return of the old South, and the development of the Ku Klux Klan. This title effectively shows the wonderful possibilities hoped for in the aftermath of the Civil War and explains how these hopes were destroyed by the utter disregard for new laws and by the growing violence. Award-winning author of The Captive (Scholastic, 1993/VOYA February 1994) and Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference (Scholastic, 1998/VOYA April 1999), Hansen provides an exceptional picture of the times as well as a useful book for assignments. Because primary sources are quoted, there are a few instances of derogatory or inflammatory terms; a note condemning "the use of such language out of its historical context," however, is included. Parenthetically, there is an error in the list concerning state constitutional convention delegates--the figures for Louisiana are incorrect--but this is a minor flaw in an otherwise thorough account. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most,marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Franklin Watts, Ages 12 to 18, 160p. PLB $25. Reviewer: Susan H. Levine
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-An enlightening history of this complex period. The title derives from a haunting lyric, written by 19th-century African-American poet and speaker Frances E. W. Harper, who captured the yearnings of a people wanting to escape their bondage. Once free, formerly enslaved women and men found new struggles facing them, as many promises were broken and hope was too often transformed into oppression. The author tells the story dramatically, incorporating compelling primary-source materials and quotations. Several biographical sketches of prominent African Americans of the time personify the major themes explored in the book. Well-chosen, attractively presented black-and-white reproductions and photographs add additional information. There is fine reading here for both research and pleasure, and content sure to prompt discussion.-Starr E. Smith, Marymount University Library, Arlington, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531164631
  • Publisher: Scholastic Library Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Single Titles Social Studies Ser.
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 8
1. A House Divided 14
Brief Biography: Phillis Wheatley 21
2. Free at Last 23
Brief Biography: Frederick Douglass 30
3. Ties that Bind 33
4. The Coming Day 40
Brief Biography: William Edward Burghardt Du Bois 45
5. The Freedmen's Bureau 48
Brief Biography: Martin R. Delany 58
6. The South Rises 61
7. One More River to Cross 68
8. New Battles 73
9. Congress Acts 80
10. The New South 89
11. Men of the People 102
Brief Biography: John R. Lynch 108
12. Educating the Freedmen 111
13. John Brown's Body 117
Brief Biography: Charlotte Forten Grimke 124
14. Beginning of the End 127
Epilogue 137
Source Notes 138
Bibliography 149
Index 153
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