Reconstruction Period and Black Women

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The Reconstruction Period and Women
After the Civil War, the United States was broken and in despair, the next major step in history was to create a plan to rebuild the South, restore southern states to the Union, and most importantly free the Slaves, which we know as the Reconstruction Period. During the Reconstruction Period African American women writers such as Anna Julia Cooper and Victoria Earle Matthews, to name a few fought to show that Christian Affiliation played a big part in obtaining Social equality for Blacks. Both women being Suffragist believed strongly in equality for African American women and justice for all. Cooper incorporated Christianity and education in her writings and speeches to encourage Blacks’, especially African American women that education is the key to obtaining position and power, while Matthews promoted moral and spiritual uplift to all (p. 115). Noticing that the thirtieth, fourteenth, and fifteenth Amendments passed in the 1800’s lacked the mentioning of sex (women) incorporated in them, angered Cooper, and Matthews, and the fight for women’s liberation intensified.

The Reconstruction Period had a different meaning for Blacks’ than for White America, also for black women than for black men. This period to Blacks’ in general was a time to re-construct the image that was forced upon them since the first boat arrived in the Americans in 1619. However, for black women it was a time of identity crisis in race, gender, and society. Although African American Literature was not as rapid after the Civil War, Cooper and Matthews pointed out that black women rights during the Reconstruction Period were not significantly different from during slavery and illustrated help aids to help black women find their place in society as individuals.

Cooper used verbal and writing aids to “advocated civil rights, women’s rights, suffrage for women, and an American literature that rendered respectful images of African Americans”...
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