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African Americans during Reconstruction

             African-Americans during Reconstruction.
             The Emancipation Proclamation abolished the legal fact of slavery, but racial discrimination and segregation remained during the reconstruction era. Many things happened during the time of the Emancipation Proclamation and Reconstruction and it definitely did not do as much for the black people as everyone thought it would. The blacks became the forgotten people after the war and fell through the cracks of society, while people only looked on. Then the suddenness of the Emancipation left both the blacks and whites unprepared to deal with each other and their new status. Also, there was difficulty with legal discrimination and harsh imprisonment as blacks attempted to integrate themselves into a white society during a very overwhelming time.
             After the war, the blacks fell through the cracks of the North and South. There was massive confusion regarding what people were really fighting for. The North was fighting to abolish slavery, whereas the South was fighting for their state's rights. The blacks were caught somewhere in the middle between right and wrong. As Abraham Lincoln introduced the Emancipation the Southerners were bitter and resented the sudden change. The Southerners had no choice but to evict their slaves and send them on their .
             way. "Sit down there all of you and listen to what I got to say. I hate to do it but I must. You all ain't my niggers no more. You is free. Just as free as I am. Here I have raised you all to work for me, and now you are going to leave me. I am an old man, and I can't get along without you. I don't' know what I am going to do"(Golay 23). A mutual dependency developed between slaves and masters and sometimes left many slaves ambivalent about the collapse of the old order and apprehensive about the future. All of this happened so quickly. After the Emancipation Proclamation, the Northerners believed their job was done as far as dealing with the freed blacks went.

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