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When asked the question Did Reconstruction change the South for African Americans I thought long and hard I realized what a great revolution had taken place for the entire black race to be coming out of slavery and slowly but surely things were happening Jobs and juries were full of blacks But come 1877 the dream was ripped out of many beholders and turned into a nightmare it seems for the next century as racism rampaged once again through the country Therefore I believe that good changes were made but not enoughSocially blacks built lives for themselves In 1865-1866 free men and women all over the South grabbed Liberty by the hornsFreidheim P195 Using their newfound freedom African-Americans created homes for themselves building communities and coming together They also built churches and schools African American Universities were built and more and more blacks were literate and educated And by the tens of thousands men women and children of all ages learned reading writing and arithmetic Friedheim P195 They got rid of old slave names changing their names at state borders as they registered with the Freedmens Bureau Many made their wedding vows legal or married for the first time But as time neared to 1877 negativity towards blacks began to grow Many believed blacks were to be kept as slaves in the first place and could not possibly be equal to whites Therefore the Ku Klux Klan was founded to promote white male supremacy The KKK used scare tactics like intimidation to force blacks into voting for their democratic ticket Friedheim P 263 They would threaten to kill entire families and children of black republicansEconomically African Americans did not gain much from Reconstruction Like so many other nineteenth-century Americans white and black freedpeople wanted to work the land as self sufficient farmers Their American Dream was built around forty acres and a mule many expected from the Freedmens Bureau a few barnyard animals and enough
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