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About the Film

Forty Acres and a Mule
Plantations in Ruins
Black Legislators
Northerners in the South
Access to Learning
Slave to Sharecropper
The Negro Question
In God We Trust
White Men Unite
State by State

Teacher's Guide

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Black Legislators
Black Legislators

When black men are given the right to vote, they elect hundreds of black legislators to state and national offices, even though the elections are preceded by threats and violence. The new black politicians, like Mississippi's John Roy Lynch, pass ambitious civil rights and public education laws.

Primary Sources

The 1866 Civil Rights Act
Congress passed the first law written to protect black Americans' rights amid turmoil and violence after the Civil War.

The 1875 Civil Rights Act
This law, designed to provide blacks with equal access to public accomodations, was a major Reconstruction achievement doomed to fail in a racist era.

Laws Fail to Protect Us
The black citizens of a Georgia town describe the homegrown terrorism in their midst.

The Work of Reconstruction
John Roy Lynch lists the postwar rebuilding tasks the Mississippi legislature faced in 1869.

Special Features

Q&A: Civil Rights During Reconstruction
Historians describe the debate over civil rights after the Civil War.

Further Reading

Web Sites
Find books and Web sites relating to this topic.

page created on 12.19.03
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Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
About the Film | Forty Acres and a Mule | Plantations in Ruins | Black Legislators
Northerners in the South | Access to Learning | Slave to Sharecropper | The Negro Question
In God We Trust | White Men Unite | State by State | Teacher's Guide

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