The Geography of Hope: Black Exodus from the South after Reconstruction

The Geography of Hope: Black Exodus from the South after Reconstruction

by Jim Haskins, James Haskins
     
 
Lured by the promise of freedom and free land in return for establishing homesteads, large groups of blacks left the former Confederate States in the 1870s and headed west to Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. This book draws on the rich resources of the period to establish the atmosphere and immediacy of their experiences as frontiersmen and farmers.

Overview

Lured by the promise of freedom and free land in return for establishing homesteads, large groups of blacks left the former Confederate States in the 1870s and headed west to Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. This book draws on the rich resources of the period to establish the atmosphere and immediacy of their experiences as frontiersmen and farmers.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting slavery in 1865 did not automatically liberate blacks residing in the South. Rigid labor control laws known as the Black Codes and the pervasive racism of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan made life difficult and occasionally dangerous for blacks. Several black leaders began to suggest that life might be more tolerable in other states. This book chronicles the efforts of leaders such as Benjamin Singleton, Henry Adams, and Edwin McCabe to locate places where blacks fleeing the South could settle and begin new lives. The hardships endured by those Exodusters, as they were called, did not end with their flight from southern territories. Harsh traveling conditions, lack of monies for new homes and land, and other troubles compounded their difficulties. For the more than twenty thousand blacks who fled slavery and its aftermath, the Promised Land was not to be a reality. Although the subject of this informational book is one that many will find compelling, the text is sometimes difficult to follow. Chapters seem unfocused, jumping from one event and person to the next without benefit of connection or continuity. Educators might need to guide readers through the intricacies of the narrative. Occasionally the author's historian voice lapses into a less objective tone that might confuse younger readers. This book might best serve as a resource for teachers and librarians. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Source Notes. Chronology. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in thesubject;Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 1999, TwentyFirst Century, Ages 12 to 15, 137p, $29.90. Reviewer: Teri Lesesne
Children's Literature - Bruce Adelson
The end of the Civil War offered African Americans great promise. With the South's defeat and the demise of slavery, black people were justifiably optimistic about a change in their circumstances. However, after the withdrawal of federal troops from the South as part of the backroom deal leading to the election of President Rutherford B. Hayes, southern whites began turning back the clock to antebellum days. Violence, discrimination, and the passage of racially restrictive laws in the last quarter of the nineteenth century convinced many black southerners that the time had come for Exodus, to Africa, northern American cities or homesteads on the American frontier. This masterful book by the 1998 winner of the Coretta Scott King award, tells this largely unknown story of African Americans in flight from their oppressors, searching, often vainly, for a better life. Well-crafted prose, excellent research, period illustrations, and breadth of topic make this a noteworthy title and a must-buy addition to libraries' American history sections. Undoubtedly, this book will soon be considered the definitive children's title about a compelling chapter in our history.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-This beautifully produced book relates the experiences of former slaves who headed to the Western frontier during and after the Civil War, and of the three men who led them, Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, Henry Adams, and Edwin McCabe. Approximately 20,000 "Exodusters" traveled from the Southern states to the Kansas and Oklahoma territories during this period. Disappointed when the Emancipation Proclamation and Reconstruction failed to create an environment in which they could live in true freedom, these African Americans hoped to attain property, prosperity, and respect in the new lands. Their little-known story-exciting, dramatic, and ultimately tragic-is a page-turner, thanks to Haskins's clear and lively writing. The author also includes primary-source material such as excerpts from newspaper articles, Senate reports, handbills, and song lyrics. Outstanding typography and black-and-white photographs and reproductions complement the text. Report writers will be grateful for the chronology, bibliography, source notes, and index.-Starr E. Smith, Marymount University Library, Arlington, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Midwest Book Review
Middle school history students will appreciate a set of fine titles which provide plenty of detail suitable for reports. Jim Haskins' Geography Of Hope: Black Exodus From The South After Reconstruction tells of those who became known as the Exodusters: former slaves who fled the Southern state as for the newly opened frontier lands in the north. Black and white illustrations pepper a coverage which explores their experiences.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761303237
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
Single Titles Ser.
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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