African Americans After Reconstruction Dbq

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Although slavery was declared over after the passing of the thirteenth amendment, African Americans were not being treated with the respect or equality they deserved. Socially, politically and economically, African American people were not being given equal opportunities as white people. They had certain laws directed at them, which held them back from being equal to their white peers. They also had certain requirements, making it difficult for many African Americans to participate in the opportunity to vote for government leaders. Although they were freed from slavery, there was still a long way to go for equality through America’s reconstruction plan. In social settings, African Americans faced many challenges due to what the US had planned…show more content…
To make voting more difficult for black people, many were required to take a test called a “literacy test.” The literacy tests were given to people who couldn’t prove they had a fifth grade education or higher. If they got one question wrong, they would fail the entire test, and would not be allowed to vote. (Document 6: Louisiana Literacy Test from the 1960s) The questions on the test had complicated instructions written with the intent of making people fail. An example of a question would be, “Above the letter ‘x’ make a small cross.” (Document 6: Louisiana Literacy Test from the 1960s) Sharecropping was a system of farming used after the slaves were set free. Landowners would rent out a portion of their land to former slaves. In return, the farmers would sell the landowners their crops. The landowners took advantage of their tenants by overcharging for land and underpaying for the crops. The tenants began falling deeper into debt. They could not leave until they paid off their debt, which was nearly impossible. Although former slaves had been freed, they were still facing many struggles in free life. America’s plan for reconstruction had good intent, but did not give African Americans the equality they deserved. From segregation and voting laws to sharecropping, reconstruction did not turn out to be the success it had the potential to be. Many years later, we are
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