Make Good the Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and Its Legacies (Hardcover)
by Kinshasha Holman Conwill and Paul Gardullo
But those gains were short-lived. By the mid-1870s, the federal government stopped enforcing civil rights laws, allowing white supremacists to use suppression and violence to regain power in the Southern states. Black men, women, and children suffered racial terror, segregation, and discrimination that confined them to second-class citizenship, a system known as Jim Crow that endured for decades.
More than a century has passed since the revolutionary political, social, and economic movement known as Reconstruction, yet its profound consequences reverberate in our lives today. Make Good the Promises explores five distinct yet intertwined legacies of Reconstruction--Liberation, Violence, Repair, Place, and Belief--to reveal their lasting impact on modern society. It is the story of Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Hiram Revels, Ida B. Wells, and scores of other Black men and women who reshaped a nation--and of the persistence of white supremacy and the perpetuation of the injustices of slavery continued by other means and codified in state and federal laws.
With contributions by leading scholars, and illustrated with 80 images from the exhibition, Make Good the Promises shows how Black Lives Matter, #SayHerName, antiracism, and other current movements for repair find inspiration from the lessons of Reconstruction. It touches on questions critical then and now: What is the meaning of freedom and equality? What does it mean to be an American? Powerful and eye-opening, it is a reminder that history is far from past; it lives within each of us and shapes our world and who we are.
About the Author
Established by an Act of Congress in 2003 and opened to the public in 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.
Kinshasha Holman Conwill is deputy director of the NMAAHC and former director of the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Paul Gardullo is a historian and curator at the NMAAHC and director of its Center for the Study for Global Slavery.
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Amistad Press
Date Published: September 14, 2021
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