In My Lifetime By: Madison Hardwick

This is the life a African American girl named Marabelle who was born is the 1850s.

1850-1860 Antebellum Era:

Antebellum Era

I work long hours keeping up the house on the plantation, my mother works with me. While my father works in the field. Slave codes control every aspect of our life. We can't even meet without white supervision. We are forbidden to learn how to read or write.

Election of 1860:

Tensions were rising in the south because of an upcoming election. I often heard the plantation owner rambling on about how it would grow into a war. Sure enough our plantation owner was right when Lincoln was elected president the South seceded from the Union. This was the beginning of the Civil War and my life changed because of it.

1860-1865 Civil War:

The Civil War began at Fort Sumter. The battle of Fort Sumter was the first battle in the war, the Fort outside of Charleston was bombarded by the Confederate Army. The Civil War is over slavery, the North believes that it is wrong and needs to be abolished. I agree completely with the North.

Emancipation proclamation 1863:

The South and North are still battling in a bloody war but, Abraham Lincoln has passes an emancipation proclamation to free al the slaves. But sadly people in the south refused to release us slaves because Abraham Lincoln wasn't their president anymore. I know that soon my family and I will be free.

Reconstruction Begins 1865-1870

Finally after a long fight, my family and I are free. We no longer belong to anybody. The 13th amendment passed which freed all the slaves. Northern Troops came down to the South and forced them tO give up their slaves, and thanks to the 14th amendment I'm an official citizen of the United States! The 15th amendment allowed my dad to vote, women cannot vote yet but I'm sure that will come soon!

Freedman's Bureau

I feel so free since the 13th amendment passed. Life for African American has changed so much. The Freeman's bureau has buildt schools all over the South, I have the opportunity to learn how to read and write which is something that I wasn't allowed to do under the Black Codes. Nice people from the North come to the South to teach in the schools, they are mostly called Carpetbaggers. There are some whites who support the schools their considered Scalawags, most whites hate us and violently lash out against us.

Reconstruction Plans:

The South was split up into Military Districts, South Carolina was district two

After the Civil War ended our leaders had different ideas on how to rebuild our nation. Our presidents settled on making Confederate leaders beg for a pardon or they allowed 10% to swear allegiance to the Union for the State to re admitted. While our congress divided the South into to five separate military districts, with Northern troops stationed in them. This plan worked best for my family and I. The Northerners Troops protected us and our house. They made be feel safe in a time of hatred towards African Americans.

State Constitutions 1865-1868

The constitution of 1865 did more harm than good, it failed to give the African Americans the right to vote. Which set up an atmosphere for laws to restrict African Americans. These new laws were a set of rules that plagued the South these laws were identical to Black Codes. My mother and I couldn't sit at the front of the bus. My poor baby brother and I were denied access to certain movie theaters and restaurants. The constitution of 1868 fixed all of this, it ended these laws and got the 14/15 amendments passed!!

Wade Hampton and the southern redeemers 1877-1879

The KKK's costumes

There were many people who didn't like us African Americans. The redeemers led by Wade Hampton were one of many groups who wanted to bring the "old South" back. Violent, racist groups sprouted up everywhere like the KKK, Red Shirts and the Riflemen. This groups tortured African Americans. I remember hearing stories of the horrors that the KKK would do. The stories gave me nightmares.

Ben Tillman 1890-1894

The struggle for African Americans to vote

Ben Tillman is an corrupt, unfair, racist man! He has won the support of all the whites through his speeches, he passed a new constitution because he couldn't live with the old one. This constitution has made Jim Crow Laws and segregation legal! The road for African Americans is going down hill very fast. African Americans are being denied their right to vote by whites. My dad says that when he approached the polls he was forced to take a literacy test, them he was forced to pay a special "poll tax". Ben Tillman created a new college, but sadly it's for whites only. They buildt another School for us, it's called South Carolina State. It's supposed to open the 'separate but equal' ruling by the Supreme Court but as always Clemson is much nicer.

Populists 1892-1896

A new political party has been formed and this one doesn't care about race. The White and Colored Farmer Alliance's have combines to form the Populist Party. The Populist Party campaigned for more coinage of sliver, and 8-hour work day, control over the railroads and a system of federal loans. My dad has been talking about the new Party since it was created. He says "its the best thing to happen to the south" and that it will help restore America. Ben Tillman claimed to be a Populist but he wasn't because he was racist.

Segregation and Jim Crow Laws 1895-1950

Segregation Signs

Segregation is when public facilities are separated by race or another dividing factor. The plessy vs. ferguson case made segregation legal. Jim Crow Laws were just like Black Codes they both restricted African Americans in a number of ways. On the way to school I was reluctantly forced to sit in the back of the bus. I wasn't allowed to go to certain restaurants. My brother and I were excluded from society for the color of our skin. Sometimes I was scared to even go out in public, because I had heard rumors of the KKK rising to power.

Natural Disasters- 1886

There was a huge earthquake in 1886 followed by a series of hurricanes in 1893. These disasters caused tons of damage. I remember the hurricane blew off one side of our house. My brother and my dad stayed outside for hours trying to fix it. The hurricane also discontinued the production of Carolina Gold. This didn't bother me I hated rice because I was forced to grow it for so many years.

1890-1917 the progressive movement

We have a new president now, his name is Theodor Roosevelt. He is a Populist but unlike Ben Tillman he isn't racist. He brings focus to the important issues in our country. Like Women's rights. As a Women I believe that we have the right to vote in legal matters and that we deserve to have a say in our government.

1915-1918 WW1

I remember World War One vividly, it was a time in my life that was unlike any other. Our country came together to help a commen cause, the war effort. My dad was drafted into the military and went across oceans to fight. My brother worried about him all the time, I would always wonder if father would ever come back home. The US originally wasn't involved in the war, we were neutral. I remember different opinions were always being voiced about our nation's decision to remain neutral. The sinking of the Lusitania, because of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the interception of the Zimmerman Telegraph brought us into the war.

The Roaring 1920s

After the war finally ended, and our dad came back home. It felt like our family was whole again. Then a new era came along. The Roaring Twenties was a time of great prosperity. With new inventions such as electricity. New technology popping up everywhere including the radio, vacuum and the washing machine. I remember waiting in front of our new radio set for hours listening and imagining radio shows in my head. Another political inquiry came along... prohibition. Some families supported it like ours and some didn't. Prohibition was a time in history when alcohol was illegal, this was meant to improve family life. But it turned out to be a big failure, more Americans turned to a crime and drank illegally. One could thing that came out of the Roaring 1920s was the Harlem Reaissance, during this time people actually started to appreciate our African American culture. They also recognized our contributions to the country. This made me very proud to be an African American.

1929: Stock Market Crash

On October 29, 1929 the unthinkable happened. During the Roaring 1920s, a time of carefree spending....the stock market crashed. After this happened the country went into a period of depression. This is more commonly known as the Great Depression. During this time, people were out of work and had job money. Banks closed down, our economy was at a stand still. I remember we lost our house and lived in a Hooverville for a while. Because my father couldn't find work. It was truly an aweful time in history.


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