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In ‘Stony the Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Captures the History and Images of the Fraught Years After the Civil War
April 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nell Irvin Painter.

STONY THE ROAD
Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
By Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Illustrated. 296 pp. Penguin Press. $30.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung = coming to terms with the past — and it carries connotations of a painful history that citizens would rather not confront but that must be confronted in order not to be repeated.
20th_century  African-Americans  bigotry  books  book_reviews  disenfranchisement  Henry_Louis_Gates  historians  history  Jim_Crow  John_Hope_Franklin  KKK  lynchings  memorabilia  racial_politics  Reconstruction  stereotypes  torture  white_nationalism  white_supremacy  imagery  Vergangenheitsbewältigung  W.E.B._Du_Bois  iconic 
april 2019 by jerryking
Confederate Memorials as Instruments of Racial Terror - The New York Times
JULY 24, 2015 | NYT | By BRENT STAPLES.

In the wake of the Charleston massacre, for example, the parks and recreation board of Birmingham, Ala., voted to explore a proposal that would remove a 52-foot Confederate memorial from the entrance of a prominent park and place it with a Confederate heritage group.

Not all monuments warrant that kind of challenge. But those honoring the Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest deserve the backlash they have generated. Forrest presided over the 1864 massacre of Union soldiers, many of them black, at Fort Pillow in Tennessee. He was also a prominent slave trader and served as the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Apologists argue that his involvement with the Klan was unimportant because he later adopted more enlightened views. But as the Forrest biographer Jack Hurst writes, by lending his name to the K.K.K. even temporarily, the general accelerated its development. “As the Klan’s first national leader,” Mr. Hurst writes, “he became the Lost Cause’s avenging angel, galvanizing a loose collection of boyish secret social clubs into a reactionary instrument of terror still feared today.”....Critics predictably condemn these efforts as bad-faith attempts to rewrite history. But what’s happening is that communities that were once bound and gagged on this issue are now free to contest a version of history that was created to reinforce racial subjugation.

They are reflecting on how to honor history — including the neglected history of African-Americans — and rightly deciding that some figures who were enshrined as heroes in the past do not deserve to be valorized in public places.
the_South  KKK  Confederacy  terrorism  white_supremacy  history  symbolism  race  African-Americans  Charleston_shootings  Reconstruction  race_relations  racial_discrimination  racial_segregation  racism  violence  Jim_Crow  race-baiting 
july 2015 by jerryking
Black Church Is Target Again for Deadly Strike at the Heart - The New York Times
By RACHEL L. SWARNS and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON JUNE 19, 2015

in those years after Emancipation is what the African-American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois and others have described as the “first social institution fully controlled by black men in America.” Black churches ran schools, offered burial assistance and served as clearinghouses for information about jobs, social happenings and politics. More than just spiritual homes, they embodied their communities’ growing political aspirations.

And before long, they became targets.

In 1963, a bomb tore through the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., killing four girls. Black churches have long been a site of racist attacks.

In the fall of 1870, as the Ku Klux Klan battled to return African-Americans to subservience, nearly every black church in Tuskegee, Ala., was engulfed in flames. Ninety-three years later, as the civil rights movement gained momentum, a bomb blast killed four young girls in a black church in Birmingham, Ala., that was a well-known meeting place for movement leaders....In the 19th century, these centers of worship, small and large, rural and urban, stone and ramshackle, became vital community engines. More than 100 of the first black men to be elected to legislative office in the United States were ministers, according to Eric Foner, a Columbia University history professor known for his expertise in the Reconstruction era.

During segregation, churches became places where black men and women found leadership opportunities denied to them by white society.
clearinghouses  Charleston_shootings  African-Americans  churches  Civil_War  KKK  institutions  social_institutions  history  violence  Reconstruction  segregation  leadership  leadership_development  W.E.B._Du_Bois  19th_century 
june 2015 by jerryking
Why Reconstruction Matters - NYTimes.com
By ERIC FONER MARCH 28, 2015

Reconstruction also made possible the consolidation of black families, so often divided by sale during slavery, and the establishment of the independent black church as the core institution of the emerging black community. But the failure to respond to the former slaves’ desire for land left most with no choice but to work for their former owners.

It was not economic dependency, however, but widespread violence, coupled with a Northern retreat from the ideal of equality, that doomed Reconstruction. The Ku Klux Klan and kindred groups began a campaign of murder, assault and arson that can only be described as homegrown American terrorism. Meanwhile, as the Northern Republican Party became more conservative, Reconstruction came to be seen as a misguided attempt to uplift the lower classes of society.
African-Americans  disenfranchisement  segregation  Jim_Crow  the_South  Reconstruction  slavery  emancipation  Civil_War  KKK  terrorism  violence 
march 2015 by jerryking

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