The above featured image shows former slaves lining up to vote for the first time. Below Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads a peaceful march for equal rights nearly 100 years later.
The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment are known as the Civil War amendments. They were added to the constitution to insure equality for African Americans. It was in 1865 that the 13th amendment was adopted, to abolish all slavery in America.This amendment also gave Congress the power to enforce the amendment through legislation. The 14th amendment was adopted in 1868 and said that all people born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens, including African Americans. The 15th amendment was adopted in 1870 and granted African American men the right to vote. It was during this time period that many young African Americans first began to fight for equal rights.
The Reconstruction of the South began in 1865.The assassination of Abraham Lincoln allowed southern President Andrew Jackson to begin reconstruction as an attempt to rebuild the south after the civil war. He passed new legislation to ensure the rights of all American citizens. Many republicans felt Johnson was too lenient on the South, so they elected General U.S. Grant to the presidency. Under Grant the south was occupied by the military and strict policies were enforced. This was known as radical reconstruction. America was very divided and this was shown in the election of 1876. There was no clear winner for president. As a result the compromise of 1877 ended reconstruction in exchange for southern votes.
There was several whites who remained against the black suffrage movement, which resulted in the creation of the Ku Klux Klan, by Nathan Bedford Forest. This group did several inhuman things to African Americans. After reconstruction no Federal Troops were present in the south to protect the African American community from groups that attacked them. Post reconstruction was an Era of hate and prejudice in the south.