Freedom Summer Comparisons with Era of Reconstruction

Topics: Black people, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (815 words) Published: April 18, 2005
Freedom Summer comparisons with Era of Reconstruction

With the end of the Civil war, many blacks felt that they would start reaping the benefits that had been denied from them for years. Being able to vote, own land, have a voice in political affairs were all goals that they felt were reachable. The era of Reconstruction was the "miracle" they had been searching for. But the South wasn't going down without a fight and blacks would have to wait at least 100 years for Freedom Summer to arrive to receive the "miracle" they wanted. 100 years it took for equality to become more than just a word but a way of life for blacks. But they did enjoy some privileges that weren't available to them.

Voting is one thing that was still around when Freedom Summer came; and when I say around I mean available. Let me explain… during the Reconstruction era blacks were able to vote. But most of them didn't due to a number of factors. A couple of these being: poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, etc. And if that weren't enough you still had the Klan that would destroy any black polling booth and/or shoot, intimidate, and kill any black person trying to vote; especially in Mississippi. In the months leading to Freedom Summer the same thing was going on except the rules had changed. These new rules, to keep the black community from voting, were the same as the old except very vague. In document 2 it details these new requirements to become a registered voter. Some of these requirements included being able to read and write a section of the new Constitution, are able to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of citizenship, make a sworn written application for registration. So as you can see just like in Reconstruction, the voting power shifts back to the white race. Even if every black could read and write, who's to say what a "reasonable" understanding of citizenship is.

Civil rights is another aspect that didn't change. During Reconstruction,...
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