During him to get into politics- Republican Party.
During the reconstruction of the United States, there were many issues raised regarding
African Americans. The struggle for the development of African Americans to
change their conditions of living and future, was
real. The development was just not for African Americans but it was going to
add up to the United States good future. During the time of reconstruction,
African American were referred as inferiors and White Americans as superiors. There
was inequality in many sections, and one of them was in politics. The lack of
voter’s right brought unequal balance in the politics which made it improper to
the community. Many of the African Americans people took leadership/initiative
to change the lifestyle of African Americans. Many of the leaders fought for African
American’s rights and have given them some sort of freedom and right to do
One of the leaders fought for African
Americans right, Jefferson Franklin Long was born as a slave in Alabama in
1836. He opened his business to the tailor and that helped him to get into
politics- Republican Party. Long was “elected as Georgia’s first black
congressman in 1870” (Book, CH 14, Page 448) and he fought for the political
rights of freed slaves. Most of his life, he spent on improving his life and
the lives of the same race as his. He fought for the right of self-determination
for African Americans.
There were five states which had the majority
of black African voters; such as Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and
South Carolina while in some other states the majority of African American
votes fell such as North Carolina, Virginia, etc. South Carolina was only the
states where African Americans had control over the state legislature. But it
was sad that in none of the other states they accomplished to get their
governor elected. “For the first time in American history, blacks won a wide
variety of elected positions”(Book, CH 14, page 465). From this quotes, it
seemed that it was a proudful moment for African Americans. Also, it was a big achievement
for them to get elected in different positions as it was really hard for them,
even though they had freedom. It was surprising that many of the African
Americans got different positions in the politics: in the state legislatures-
more than six hundred blacks served, two from Mississippi got to choose to
serve on the US Senate and sixteen got seats in the US House of Representatives
and one of the seats was Jefferson Long who fought for the political rights of
freed slaves. Africans Americans were considered as a responsible political community
and in addition to all this, they held some meetings to discuss the issues and
choose their candidates. Although they were not allowed to vote, women attended
the gathering and that helped influence their outcome.
In the south, they established their
first public school system which provided funds for social services, such as
poor relief and state hospitals. In addition, the state constitutions written
by the Republicans brought equality to the south and political democracy by
giving the suffrage to not only poor white men but also to the black men. This
had a very positive change that in some states of the south married women got
more control over the properties.
African Americans eventually started
taking part in the Reconstruction legislature and started introducing bills that
later became laws (Branam, Chris W). They made some proposals and point
of order that were as likely to the whites. Their legislators were interested
in civil rights, education to law and order and economic development. But the
system that was replacing slavery over labor and land occupation were under construction.
The state Arkansas’s were becoming new with all the other changes; such as transportation
in education and the public schools has barely developed.
In the document 14.5 of Mississippi
Black Code, 1865, section 6 talks about the laws of the state. “The same duties
and liabilities existing among white persons of this State shall attach to
freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes.” (Launchpad 14.5) This quote states that all
the freedmen, free negroes er mulattoes got same duties and liabilities rights
as the white men. This shows that the situation of African Americans got better
gradually though in some parts and some White Americans were against it and was
still treating them as slaves and wasn’t giving respect. Enough though there
were many problems accepting the freedom of African Americans and giving them
equal opportunity, it is great that they started getting the same kind of right
at a government level. This has helped them during the reconstruction and more
in the long run.
In conclusion, there were many
leaders who fought for American American to get into politics. As days went
some of the African Americans became the part of government/political parties.
Though there were laws that were giving them equal opportunities, white Americans
still were against it. But the at least they got the positions in the politics
which helped them in short and as well as in the long run. The political
situation was not so good during reconstruction but it was not so bad either.
African Americans got some positions in the political parties. That helped them
to raise and bring their value up, take parts in things and getting equal
opportunities as a normal human being.