Black Politics Essay

1676 words - 7 pages

This paper will address the position of black politician when it comes to race consciousness and deracialization, through the past, present and future. My position is to focus on how racial consciences used by politicians throughout the years have made it possible for politicians today to even having the option of running a deradicalized campaign and will still be a key ideology for the future.Going back to the Reconstruction Era until the mid 1980's the identity of the black politician was very distinct. Before the Civil War began, Blacks had only been able to vote in a few northern states, and there were no black officeholders. The months after the Union victory in April 1865 saw extensive mobilization within the black community, with meetings, parades and petitions calling for legal and political rights, including the right to vote. During the first two years of Reconstruction, blacks organized Equal Rights Leagues throughout the South and held state and local conventions to protest discriminatory treatment and demand suffrage. During the Radical Reconstruction (1867-77) decade, Congress granted African American men the status and rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, as guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Beginning in 1867, branches of the Union League, which encouraged the political activism of African Americans, spread throughout the South. Many black leaders during Reconstruction had gained their freedom before the Civil War, had worked as skilled slave craftsmen or had served in the Union Army. A large number of black political leaders came from the church, having worked as ministers during slavery or in the early years of Reconstruction, when the church served as the center of the black community. In 1868 Hiram Rhodes Revels, a born free educator and minister became the first black man to serve in the United States Senate. Revels worked first as a barber and then as a minister traveling across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and Tennessee, preaching to both free and enslaved blacks. Between 1863 and 1865 Revels served as a chaplain in the Union Army and helped recruit and organize black Union Army work battalions and also founded a black high school and several churches. Revels were encouraged by many to seek higher office so he ran for the county seat in the state senate in late 1869 as a Republican and won as a result of the large majority of blacks who had recently gained the right to vote during Reconstruction. Revels viewed himself as "a representative of the State, irrespective of color," he also represented freedmen and, as such, received petitions from black men and women from all states. Revels also rejected legal separation of the races, believing it led to animosity between blacks and whites, but he did not view forced social mixing as desirable or necessary. He cited mixed-race churches in northern cities, where a congregation would worship together on Sundays but part ways...

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