In My Lifetime By: Raegan Soles

It's 1856 and I'm working on this hot and boring field picking cotton. I am 6 years old working on the field from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. Me and my daddy are working on the field, while my mama is working in the master's house. The slave codes have been passed and it makes it even harder to live in the South. The master just beat me and daddy for not doing all of our work. It is becoming harder and harder to live on this stupid plantation, I want hope.
Finally! We may have a chance to become free! Abraham Lincoln wants all of us to become free. These past 10 years on the plantation have been the worst of my life. Maybe Lincoln will have us hope. (A week later) Well, I overheard some men on the field talking about how South Carolina was seceding from the Union. Well I guess our hope for freedom is over now.
It's 1861 in the month of March. Tensions are getting high between the Northern states and the Southern states. (A month later) Well I knew this was going to happen., a war. The war started on April 14, as people have said, at Fort Sumter in Charleston. Well it may take a while to become free now.
Finally! We are officially free! My master is mad and many other masters along with him. Most of the slaves are staying on their plantation because they have no money and nowhere to go. But I'm hoping mama and daddy are gonna go somewhere else. No more working in the fields, being beaten, and living in a shack.
Finally! An amendment passed so that we can actually become officially freed. The 13th amendment, yes! Yay! I am finally an official American citizen! The 14th amendment! Daddy can now finally be able to vote without being treated wrongly! No more beatings at the polls for him. (15th amendment)
The South is very badly torn up from the war. Lincoln and Johnson have the perfect plan for all of us in the South. (few years later) I don't really like being split up into military districts but we have to follow the rules and whatever Congress says.
We are now called Freedmen, but the whites. I just don't know why we can't be normal people. Carpetbaggers are coming down to try and help us through these tough times. Scalawags, as they are called, are trying to help us also even though they are being called traitors of the South.
I HATE The Constitution of 1865! It is so wrong, and they treat us even worse now! I absolutely hate Black Codes too. (3 years later) Yes! Finally we may have some more hope! I love the Constitution of 1868. Even though the whites don't like it, I do, and I don't care what they say.
Ugh! The KKK is sooo wrong! None of us Freedmen can do anything without them terrorizing us. The Red Shirts and Riflemen aren't as bad as the KKK but they also terrorize and intimidate us. This is a bad time.....
I absolutely hate the Constitution of 1895! It disenfranchises us African-Americans. Ben Tillman is the most racist man I have ever seen. Clemson College was made for the whites, and South Carolina State University was made for us African-Americans. This disenfranchisement is killing me! It is so wrong, and I'm scared to see what the future brings.
Daddy goes to the Grange some afternoons to go and talk with other farmers about crops. Daddy also goes to the White and Colored Farmers Alliance which has now formed the Populist Party, which supports the needs of the common people like my family. They also support an 8-hour work day for mill workers which we can't work in.
Please v. Ferguson has officially gone all the way to the Supreme Court. The KKK has been getting worse and worse as time passes us. African-Americans aren't getting treated equally like we were told when we were officially allowed to be free. Jim Crow Laws by the whites are segregating and disenfranchising us. I don't know if it will get any better....
The 1886 earthquake hit Charleston and they aren't doing good down there. Many buildings were terribly messed up and most of the town was destroyed. (a few years later) The hurricane has hit us and it is really bad. Daddy's crops are terribly messed up so we may not be able to grow food for awhile now.
Theodore Roosevelt is trying to help the country as best as he can. Mama and I can now vote, children don't have to work in the factories, drinking isn't allowed, no immigrants aren't very welcome here in the South. So, some is good and some isn't. We Amy be taking baby steps to good times officially.
WWI has officially started and the U.S. is staying neutral right now. (a few weeks later) Germany has sunken the British passenger ship the Lusitania, they have sent a letter to Mexico telling them to declare war on us, and they are still using unrestricted submarine warfare. I have a feeling this won't turn out well....
Prohibition has started but people are still illegally making and selling alcohol. The movie "Birth of a Nation" has also come out and I hate it! It makes us look like the villains! The KKK is still as violent as always. The Southern Literary Renaissance and the Harlem Renaissance are finally showing that us African-Americans have talent, finally! Many great advancements have been made and they are sooo awesome!
October 1929, Black Tuesday, that's when the stock market crashed. It is becoming harder and harder on our family. The Great Depression has began.... This is where millions of Americans had no money, no jobs, nothing. The carefree spending that everyone did is now over. People can't afford food, can't afford to take care of their children. Everything is going in the wrong direction. Nobody can do anything.

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Created with images by Sangre-La.com - "id0153.JPG" • WikiImages - "abraham lincoln president portrait" • prosaica - "civil war cannon"

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