A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration Summary & Study Guide

Steven Hahn
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A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration Summary & Study Guide Description

A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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In A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration, Steven Hahn traces the development and negotiation of African American politics in the South. He focuses on such topics as how African Americans constructed themselves as political actors, how they engaged in political struggled during slavery and after emancipation, and how they helped shape American politics during the nineteenth century.

The first part of the book discusses African American political resistance under slavery and during the Civil War. Hahn argues that blacks were much more political during the time of slavery than many people think. They resisted white oppression by forming ties with one another, collectively struggling for better lives, and by taking part in revolts and escapes to freedom in the North. During the Civil War, tens of thousands of former slaves took up arms against their former owners. Through discussion and education, African Americans began imagining new social and political possibilities and began imagining a new and different nation.

The second part of the book focuses on Radical Reconstruction. After the Civil War, African Americans transformed the older forms of black political practice. They developed grassroots organizations and reconstituted communities that struggled for local power and recognition. The Union League helped to politically organize freedmen. They educated them about their new political rights. They also helped them register to vote and provided protection against white backlash. Hahn argues that Reconstruction brought to light the paramilitary character of southern politics

The last part of the book examines such topics as the toppling of Reconstruction governments in the South, the disenfranchisement of African Americans from the political arena, and the emergence of new projects outside of politics. The grassroots emigration movement rose in the latter part of the 1800s, as African Americans hoped to find places to build stable and safe communities away from the reach and violence of whites. African Americans also turned to biracialism in politics which created alliances with white insurgents. The violence and disenfranchisement during this time period would lead to the Great Migration and Jim Crow.

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This section contains 352 words
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Buy the A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration Study Guide
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