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Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
This "African American History" series volume addresses how racism and legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and constitutional amendments, impacted freed slaves after the Civil War. Freedmen became vulnerable to segregation enforced by Jim Crow laws, unjust sharecropping systems, and Ku Klux Klan violence. This book features notable Reconstruction era figures including Reverend Hiram Revels and Tunis Campbell. Readers should approach this text cautiously due to such major flaws as stating that slavery existed in the United States during the late 1800s and the Freedman's Bureau assisting former slaves closed in 1869. Discussion of black codes presents generalizations and does not acknowledge how restrictions varied according to locales. The glossary misspells poll tax as "pole" and awkwardly refers to the "convict the lease system." This book mentions Homer Plessy but not people, including Ida Wells-Barnett, who sued protesting transportation segregation laws prior to his arrest. No resource citations are provided. Prominent African-American historian W.E.B. Du Bois's book Black Reconstruction (1935) is not discussed nor how his perspectives have influenced scholarship examining this era. The generic timeline does not focus on Reconstruction events. Illustrations include twentieth-century photographs, possibly confusing readers who lack historical knowledge to recognize errors. Read John David Smith's Black Voices from Reconstruction, 1865—1877 (1996) or Joyce Hansen's "Bury Me Not in a Land of Slaves": African-Americans in the Time of Reconstruction (2000) instead. Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590368794
  • Publisher: Weigl Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Series: African American History Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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