Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery

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Add to Cart. About Been in the Storm So Long Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award Based on hitherto unexamined sources: interviews with ex-slaves, diaries and accounts by former slaveholders, this "rich and admirably written book" Eugene Genovese, The New York Times Book Review aims to show how, during the Civil War and after Emancipation, blacks and whites interacted in ways that dramatized not only their mutual dependency, but the ambiguities and tensions that had always been latent in "the peculiar institution.

Also by Leon F. See all books by Leon F. About Leon F. Litwack Leon F. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Praise "Litwack displays a keen sense of the revealing expression and incident; a controlled passion against injustice and cruelty; and a grasp—not always in evidence these days—of the elements of genuine tragedy in the black-white confrontation that has shaped southern history.

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Given their wartime experiences with the Union, freedpeople did not automatically support the Republican Party at the expense of all other options. Rather, they proved to be quite shrewd about who they voted for on election day. While many blacks voted the Republican ticket, others bolted the party and the local Union Leagues, when it became clear that white leaders were cool to the idea of African Americans taking an active, leadership role in the organisation.

Equally, black voters did not automatically oppose the entreaties of white Democrats, who, according to Behrend, were forced in changed circumstances to reach out to black voters in ways that would have been unimaginable a few years before. What the author makes clear is that African Americans proved to be more willing to compromise, more willing to reach across the racial divide, and were more comfortable than many white Republicans at coalition building.

By making it clear that black political leaders in Natchez had their sights set on building a lasting coalition across racial lines, Behrend argues that the real threat to a white establishment was not simply that African Americans held positions of import in state and local government.

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Rather, black efforts to build a more robust state held out the promise of building a coalition of poorer Mississippians. Again, this intervention builds on the existing scholarship. The work of historians like Steven Hahn, Jane Daily and others have all shown the agile nature of black political culture, and dating as far back as C. Behrend is clear that the ultimate strength of the black political system was also its greatest weakness.

By avoiding the centralisation of power and rooting black political action in communities, white vigilante violence could pinpoint individual counties and institutions and lay siege to them, one by one. Disfranchisement hammered the final nail in the coffin, though as with much of the literature on Reconstruction, historians like Behrend detect the vestiges of political mobilisation in the black freedom struggle that would follow.

For every stealth, state-sponsored policy that targets black communities, or for every act of violence that serves to exemplify the second-class citizenship of black Americans in the 21st century, one need not look long to find a grassroots effort to mobilise communities to push back. His study does not make a set of bold historiographical claims. Reconstructing Democracy deepens, elaborates and adds to a broader debate over Reconstruction, with careful argument and the patient accrual of evidence.

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Notes For some of this work, see Susan E. Adam Aronson and Andrew R. Graybill Berkeley, CA, Back to 3 See Elizabeth R. Back to 4 See, for example, William A. Back to 5 W. I agree with you on your points about slavery mentioned in the book. The owners who owned the slaves treated the slaves pretty bad. I think i read or heard one of the groups say that they believed slaves were like the devils children because they were so dark. Look at us now we have a Obama as president which says a lot. Times are changing and hopefully they keep changing for the better.

Slavery were very cruel days. This book was definitely an interesting perspective on the times of slavery from the perspective of the slaves. Unfortunately, like most harsh times in the world, only one side of the story is really told about the situation and often its the side of the one with the most power. In Germany, they still dont talk about the Holocaust the same way that we do because it is such a dark part of their history.

When I read this book, I learned many things about slavery and what they went through during the Civil War. The cruelty they suffered from bondage and even after they were freed.

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The southerners refused to accept change and would do anything to stop the slaves from being freed. I also like the fact that the book contained quotes and interviews from the slaves, the owners, and the soldiers. If the slaves would have joined together, they could have changed the casualties and the duration of the war.

The multitude of slaves would have been hard to subdue if they all joined together and started a rebellion in the south while the war was still going on.

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I would recommend this book for everyone to read. The book was very interesting to me and it informed me many new things about slavery that I did not know about. It went into context what they went through during the Civil War and after.

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How they still faced issues even after they were given their freedom. The southerners did not believe in what was happening and tried anything in their power to keep their slaves. I would strongly recommend this book to read.

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