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This Far by Faith

Journeys

Timeline

People

About the Series
Discussions

1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WAR1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues
1526-1775: from AFRICA to AMERICA1776-1865: from BONDAGE to HOLY WA
1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW
Next Journey
New Freedom , New Challenges 1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER



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Timeline: 1866-1945 View Detailed Timeline
1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues
1946-1966: from CIVIL RIGHTS to BLACK POWER1967-TODAY: from CRISIS, A SEARCH FOR MEANINGTODAY: The Journey Continues



1866-1945: from EMANCIPATION to JIM CROW
New Freedom , New Challenges



"Freedom, as I understand it, is taking us from under the yoke up bondage, and placing us where we could reap the fruit of our labor, take care of ourselves, and assist the Goverment in maintaining our freedom." --Minister Garrison Frazier, in reply to a question from General Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army (January 12, 1865)



Sanctuary

"Sanctuary"


President Lincoln had been ambivalent about ending slavery. "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union," he said in his inaugural address of 1860, "and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union."

Yet ultimately he did end slavery, and African-Americans everywhere rejoiced at the prospect and embraced the Republican Party. For those who had been enslaved, freedom brought the ability to make choices about how they would look, act, work, live, and be. Some former slaves found themselves homeless, jobless, and without clothes or shelter. Many froze to death in the bitterly cold winter that followed the end of the Civil War. Still, freedom meant autonomy, the ability to travel, and the right to refuse to take orders from or pay obeisance to whites.


Freedmen, laboring on a wharf.

Freedmen, laboring on a wharf.


Freed people regarded surnames as a sign of respect, and began choosing their own last names. When they chose the last names of their masters, it was more out of convenience than out of any affection for the master. When one black soldier was asked, "Do you want to be called by your old master's name?" he replied: "No sur, I don't. I's had 'nuff o' ole massa."

Four million people moved through the process of choosing jobs, building institutions, and raising families. They negotiated terms with the Union Army, the Freedman's bureau, southern whites and landowners, southern governments, Congress, religious bodies, and the Ku Klux Klan. All of these groups had a stake in defining what freedom would mean for blacks - where it would be expanded and what its limits would be.

They came out of slavery with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the faith in their hearts that tomorrow would be a brighter day. They had already survived the darkest nights of bondage.




People of Faith


 Henry Mcneal Turner
Henry Mcneal Turner

 Daniel Payne
Daniel Payne


Did You Know?



The first Civil Rights laws were passed shortly after the Civil War.
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