Friday, May 26, 2017

Reconstruction by D. C.

1) The speaker's main argument was that white men made it increasingly difficult to become regular people after slavery no matter how hard they tried. The narrator of the documentary provided examples of the hardships that African Americans had to face such as; no education, limited job openings, no money, no skills besides agricultural work and white prejudice.
2) The purpose is that although slaves were now emancipated, now they were faced with a new task; independence. Going from being totally dependent on their white masters, African Americans has to find jobs, fend for themselves, and try to build up a life after slavery. A voice in the documentary that seemed to be missing was that of the women. We focused on the men because they were the ones, back then, to make the political moves and policies. Men carried them out such as Field Order 15 that General Sherman put in place to make the freedmen stop following the Union Army. Women were hardly mentioned except for the ex-slaves that moved onto St. Catherine's Island.
3) Some of the in-class sources we used were the images about Reconstruction depicting the negativity of blacks and white power. One specifically that showed the KKK, lynching, and quotes from the era. A quote we discussed in depth was "The Lost Cause" which was the point of view of the South on the Civil War, although they lost the war Southerners said they were set up for failure but fought valiantly anyways.
4) A question that a student asked in class was about why Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson to be his Vice President for his second term. As we talked about it, we concluded that Lincoln's reasoning behind is that Johnson was a Southerner so that would be very beneficial to Lincoln's re-election. Perhaps that may be why he was assassinated, so a Southerner with their current ideas and values could be in charge.
5) I'd love to know how long it took for Blacks to become independent of Whites. Even with the Labor Contracts, Blacks were still dependent but they were not treated as cruelly. Also, did any other race besides African Americans ever have to face a hardship like slavery? I know the Jewish people did in Egypt but what about the Irish, or Chinese, or Spanish/Mexican peoples.