Reconstruction And its Effects on the Lives of African Americans

The Fourteenth Amendment stated that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof...", and that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...". To have this amendment added at all was certainly a success of Reconstruction. It was the first step made towards equal rights.
One major failure of Reconstruction was the unjust laws made to prevent African Americans from truly being free. The laws in this picture are an example from Saint Landry Parish, Louisiana.
Daniel Ullman, leader of the African Americans corps, wrote an address that highlighted some of the positives of arming African Americans. He said it was "1. The most direct way to crush the Rebellion." and "2. The surest path to the extinction of slavery." These were things that reconstruction achieved, and can be attributed somewhat to allowing African Americans to fight. He showed how he felt about achieving racial equality during Reconstruction with the quote, "The General Commanding, therefore directs his officers of all grades, to assure every colored man whom they recruit, that if he shall, by virtue of the authority delegated to the General, be regularly enlisted into the service of the United States, and shall bear himself as a true and faithful soldier until the end of the term of his enlistment, he has the sacred honor of the United States pledged, that the whole power of this Government, moral and physical, shall be exerted to secure to him and to his posterity for ever, the inestimable blessings of freedom." This view helped Africans Americans be seen more capable and honorably by society.

Overall, Reconstruction was something of a mixed bag. It didn't get too much done, and initially led to further negative consequences towards the African American community (namely black codes and Jim Crow laws), but it was still an essential first step that got the ball rolling. This can be related on a smaller scale to the treatment of transgender people after the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots, which took place in 1969, were the catalyst for the LGBT liberation movement. However, despite being lead by trans women, gay people quickly cast them out, and the reputation of trans people was tarnished. Still, this would eventually lead to them reaching more acceptance as well.

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