When Black Lives Mattered: Why Teach Reconstruction

By Adam Sanchez

Every day seems to bring new horrors as the U.S. president’s racist rhetoric and policies have provided an increasingly encouraging environment for attacks on Black people and other communities of color. In moments like these, it’s worth remembering a time in U.S. history when Black lives mattered. 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.