Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence After the Civil War, 1865-1876

Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence After the Civil War, 1865-1876

A report from the Equal Justice Initiative documents the killings of more than two thousand African-American men, women, and children by white mobs during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. The report, Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence After the Civil War, 1865-1876, details the backlash against Black political mobilization, the burning of schools and churches, and the economic exploitation of freed Black workers; identifies thirty-four mass lynchings of families or groups of African Americans and provides a state-by-state snapshot of racial violence during the twelve-year period; and examines how African Americans were subjected to political violence, economic intimidation, organized terror and community massacresfalse accusations, and arbitrary and random violence. The study highlights how white-controlled institutions, from local sheriffs to the U.S. Supreme Court, failed to protect Black lives and rights. "Facing the horrific violence Black Americans suffered during Reconstruction forces us to recognize the fierce legacy of white supremacy in this country," the report's authors write, "and the terrible means used to defend it."

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