Collection: Reconstruction

Reconstruction, the era immediately following the Civil War and emancipation, is full of stories that help us see the possibility of a future defined by racial equity. Though often overlooked in classrooms across the country, Reconstruction was a period where the impossible suddenly became possible. The following are lessons, books, and films for teaching outside the textbook about the Reconstruction Era.

Black Reconstruction in America

Book – Non-fiction. By W. E. B. Du Bois. Introduction by David Levering Lewis. 2014. 623 pages. Originally published in 1935, Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction was the first book to challenge the prevailing racist historical narrative of the era and in sharp, incisive prose, tell the story of the Civil War and Reconstruction from the perspective of African Americans.
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Reconstructing the South: A Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Bill Bigelow. 17 pages. This role play engages students in thinking about what freedpeople needed in order to achieve—and sustain—real freedom following the Civil War. It's followed by a chapter from the book Freedom's Unfinished Revolution on what would happen to the land in the South after slavery ended.
Teaching Activity by Bill Bigelow
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Roudanez: History and Legacy

Website. Archive of the work of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, founder of the first Black daily newspaper in the U.S., the New Orleans Tribune, with articles, excerpts, videos, and a timeline.
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Crow (Book) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Crow

Book - Fiction. By Barbara Wright. 2012. Historical fiction about an Reconstruction era African American community violently robbed of its freedom and democracy in turn of the century North Carolina.
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A Moment in the Sun

Book - Fiction. By John Sayles. 2011. Spanning five years and half a dozen countries, Sayles' novel of historical fiction paints a picture of the late 1890s — from the racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina, to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism in Cuba and the Philippines.
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Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule

Book - Fiction. By Harriette Gillem Robinet. 1998. 144 pages. Historical fiction featuring 12-year-old Pascal, 8-year-old Nellie, and their older brother Gideon, a Union Army aide, as they claim and farm the land promised to them during Reconstruction.
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