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Teaching Race and Reconstruction

Teaching Race and Reconstruction han nah rosen W. E. B. Du Bois concludes his 1935 tome Black Reconstruction in America by describing the tragic end of this period as a “crash of hell” falling on African Americans in a “whirlwind” of postemancipation violence. He then depicts this whirlwind as followed by distorted historical accounts, ones that were popular in American academe in the early twentieth century when Du Bois wrote Black Reconstruction and that portrayed the period’s experiment in cross-racial democracy—namely the extension of suffrage rights to African American men—as a brief but costly mistake. Du Bois invokes these misrepresentations of history by imagining a college pro- fessor addressing his expectant and curious students: “A teacher sits in academic halls,” Du Bois writes, “looks into the upturned face of youth . . . [and] says that the nation ‘has changed its views in regard to the political relation of races and has at last virtually accepted the ideas of the South upon that subject. The white men of the South need now have no further fear that the Republican Party . . . will ever again give themselves over to the vain imagination of the political equality of man.’” The words Du Bois http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Teaching Race and Reconstruction

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 7 (1) – Jan 26, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

han nah rosen W. E. B. Du Bois concludes his 1935 tome Black Reconstruction in America by describing the tragic end of this period as a “crash of hell” falling on African Americans in a “whirlwind” of postemancipation violence. He then depicts this whirlwind as followed by distorted historical accounts, ones that were popular in American academe in the early twentieth century when Du Bois wrote Black Reconstruction and that portrayed the period’s experiment in cross-racial democracy—namely the extension of suffrage rights to African American men—as a brief but costly mistake. Du Bois invokes these misrepresentations of history by imagining a college pro- fessor addressing his expectant and curious students: “A teacher sits in academic halls,” Du Bois writes, “looks into the upturned face of youth . . . [and] says that the nation ‘has changed its views in regard to the political relation of races and has at last virtually accepted the ideas of the South upon that subject. The white men of the South need now have no further fear that the Republican Party . . . will ever again give themselves over to the vain imagination of the political equality of man.’” The words Du Bois

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 26, 2017

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