A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration - Part 2, Chapter 5 A Society Turned Bottomside Up Summary & Analysis

Steven Hahn
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Part 2, Chapter 5 A Society Turned Bottomside Up Summary

In 1870, Hiram R. Revels was the senator-elect from Mississippi. He became the first African American to serve in either chamber of the U.S. Congress. In South Carolina, about 55 percent of the state legislature was filled by Republicans, including many black Republicans. In rural districts throughout the South where former slaves composed the population majority, they served as jurors, magistrates, county commissioners, tax assessors, constables, and sheriffs. During Reconstruction, black men held political office in every state of the former Confederacy. More than one hundred held offices or posts with jurisdiction over the entire state. One African American was a governor of Louisiana for a short time and more than 800 served in the state legislatures. Black officeholders tended to exist in places where black populations were densest. They also existed where state Republican governments had...

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