The African-American Odyssey

Better Essays
Eric D. Joseph
May 9, 2006
Afro-Amer. Hist.4223

The African-American Odyssey
The Promise of Reconstruction, 1865-1868
The emancipation of the African slave who was now disconnected from their traditions and way of life after nearly 300 years, is seemingly a great gush from the dam to the ebbs and flows of the struggle. The end of slavery as we know it, presented a ball of mixed emotions among the nation; North and SOUTH. Some slaves were grossly ecstatic to be free. For example, when a slave girl named Caddy, from Goodman, Mississippi found she was free, went to her mistress, flipped up her dress and told her "Kiss my ass!" On the contrary, some slaves were apprehensive of being free. For example, one elderly slave woman reportedly said, "I ain' no free nigger! I is got a marster and mistiss! Dee right dar in de great house. Ef you don' believe me, you go dar an' see." Though most slaves were detached from their families, many managed to regroup and find their love ones after their emancipation and constructed close knit families. Land was an viable means of survival in the minds of newly freedmen and the government was eager to deem lands to the ex-slaves . On January 16, 1865, General William T. Sherman told the freedmen that they will receive the land they were in search of. They were granted the head of each family would receive "possessory title" to forty acres of land. Sherman also gave the use of Army mules, thus giving rise to the slogan, "Forty acres and a mule." Similarly in 1862 the Union military set aside land in Port Royal, South Carolina, which became known as the Port Royal experiment. The freedmen bureau was created to aid newly freed slaves in the transition from bondage to freedom in 1865. After Lincoln's assassination the succession of his Vice president, Andrew Johnson, to the presidency meant that the white owners of the lands, that were given to the freedmen, would be returned. Sharecropping became a sort of ebb in the

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