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Black Power in DixieA Political History of African Americans in Atlanta$
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Alton Hornsby Jr.

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032825

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032825.001.0001

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From Reconstruction to the Nadir, 1867–1908

From Reconstruction to the Nadir, 1867–1908

Chapter:
(p.12) 1 From Reconstruction to the Nadir, 1867–1908
Source:
Black Power in Dixie
Author(s):

Alton Hornsby

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813032825.003.0002

This chapter discusses the political history of African Americans in Atlanta after they emerged as free men and women from the reigns of bondage. African Americans who emerged from the chains of bondage shared the same faith with the freed persons of the south. Most of these newly freed people were economically challenged and illiterate wherein most of them depended on the basic needs, shelter, and rudimentary education provided by the Freedmen's Bureau and the northern missionary societies. However, by 1867, a school was established which became the first black institution for higher education and which initiated the creation of five other schools dedicated to the higher education needs of the black. The first established school, the Atlanta University Center (AUC), became the catalyst for change and development among the black middle and upper classes. Businesses emerged and the number of educated blacks increased. With the newly acquired higher education, literate blacks began to play an important role in the advent of their acquired freedom to vote and right to suffrage. In the elections that proceeded, blacks actively participated in casting their votes and in attempting to acquire governmental seats wherein they gained leverage after years of being neglected and restrained from involvement on the national scene and the public sphere. While blacks gained the freedom to vote, they were often cast aside, marginalized as an insignificant voting power and eliminated as a powerful black political influence. But the black voters and African Americans revived their black politics and continued to create a complex interplay and influence on American politics.

Keywords:   African Americans, vote, suffrage, elections, voting power, black political influence, black voters

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