At one time in history, black boys and girls wore suit and ties, dresses and big hats to school. They wouldn’t leave the house without being presentable, respectful and proud of who they were. Once again, we (Black Americans) have been offered an opportunity to use this period of Reconstruction to build, own and grow our brand that has been muffled by local and national liberal politics since 2006.
By Don Allen, Our Black News
History tells us the Union victory in the Civil War in 1865 may have given some 4-million slaves their freedom, but the process of rebuilding the South during the Reconstruction period (1865-1877) introduced a new set of significant challenges. Under the administration of President Andrew Johnson in 1865 and 1866, new southern state legislatures passed restrictive “black codes” to control the labor and behavior of former slaves and other African Americans. Outrage in the North over these codes eroded support for the approach known as Presidential Reconstruction and led to the triumph of the more radical wing of the Republican Party. During Radical Reconstruction, which began in 1867, newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, however, reactionary forces–including the Ku Klux Klan–would reverse the changes wrought by Radical Reconstruction in a violent backlash that restored white supremacy in the South; we cannot let radical white, black, red not yellow factions derail us from success; this is not about Donald J. Trump, it’s about Black Americans moving forward in a wondering time.
The election of Donald J. Trump has brought a new era of grief, misconceptions and a shock to a society that created the candidate. While black people who voted for president elect Trump are being called coons, sell-outs and Nigga, the system that put Trump into office has begun to turn the wheels of economics in a direction away from black America while we are being petty with each other.
What does this mean?
Trump’s America represents a phase of reconstruction for Black Americans meaning it is time to actively engage in local politics, economics (buy black campaigns) and education. W.E.B. DuBois told us there were “benefits” in reconstruction. His (DuBois) research shows that the post-emancipation South did not degenerate into economic or political chaos; just like it will not under the Trump administration. Dubois told us that state by state in subsequent chapters, the efforts of the elite planter class was to retain control and recover property (land, in particular) lost during the war. In short, it’s time for us to not only make new wealth, but also create it for the lower one-third of the black communities that were dependent on our brothers and sister doing good so we could offer jobs. It’s that time in history again.
One thing we must be careful of is the mainstream media and race-baiters on the black community that would have one think Trump would send black people back to Africa. What we know today is that Jim Crow has been outsourced to a few black folks with orders to control the black population, they use fear in order to repress black organizations and suffrage, frightened by the immense power that millions of current day black voters would have on the shape of the future.
We have to think about the future during this period of Reconstruction and how we want president-elect Donald Trump to work on our behalf. The longer we remained distracted by petty differences, the longer it will take for us to stand up as a people and push forward in an area where we have been taken for granted over the last eight years.