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FREEDOM VS INDEPENDENCE While reading Eric Foners book I came to appreciate the difficulties the freed black slaves encountered for example how the previous slave owning class continued to manipulate the freed slaves Also I was impressed at the great sacrifice they made when attempting to become educated Last of all I was surprised at the severity of persecution and abuse of blacks that was still considered legal after they were freed When the label of slave was removed from the black American it was meant to clarify that they were human beings Human beings eligible to participate in Americas society and culture However racism denied them the privileges of the American citizen Although they were no longer slaves they were still considered to be savages unintelligent and the lowest class of person in the United States Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 The Proclamation set the American slave population free However it did not indicate how new Black citizens would be incorporated into the free society Emancipation would redefine how blacks saw themselves and their aspirations and it would redefine the labor system Blacks believed that they could equally share in prosperity and progress with whites Blacks desperately wanted to move up in social standing and become educated They desired literacy They wanted to plant their own crops and have the chance to sell them for profit They wanted to work hard for the chance of a better life for their children The commitment to white supremacy in the South began with the planters intention of keeping the institution of slavery Whites perceived emancipation as uncompensated liquidation of the nations largest concentration of private property and a redefinition of the place of blacks in American societyp2 Blacks saw emancipation as their opportunity to become involved with society without the burden of being owned by someone The labor system of free labor versus slavery contained a transition that few in the
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