The Outcomes of The Reconstruction for African Americans
As much as being free from slavery was a time of joy for African Americans, being truly free from slavery was not to happen for many years to come. African Americans faced many social, political, and economic obstacles after Reconstruction. The years after Reconstruction continued to foster great tension between blacks and whites. This New South was new in name only because blacks were still not afforded the same rights as whites. Although a small percentage of African-Americans found work in the new iron foundries and steel mills, they were generally barred from the textile mills that grew into the region's major industry. Mill owners preferred to use white women and children rather than blacks, who were increasingly portrayed as lazy, ignorant, and shiftless. Consequently, the overwhelming majority of African-Americans were tied to the land as sharecroppers or tenant farmers. By 1900, segregation was institutionalized throughoutthe South, and the civil rights of blacks were sharply curtailed.
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1875, racial discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels,railroads, and theaters was prohibited. The end of Reconstruction did not help much in giving African-Americans real freedom because in 1883 the Supreme Court ruled in the Civil Rights Act was invalid becauseit addressed social as opposed to civil rights. Furthermore, the Court noted that the Fourteenth Amendmentprotected people against violations of their civil rights by states, not by the actions of individuals (for example,when the owner of a hotel refused to rent a room to an African-American). Segregated facilities, whetherschools or public transportation, were rarely equal. Legalized segregation also reinforced the notions of whiteracial superiority and African-American inferiority, creating an atmosphere that encouraged violence, andlynching of blacks rose significantly. Despite these obvious...
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