The Collapse of Reconstruction: Background information when reading His Name Is George Floyd

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His Name Is George Floyd

One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

by Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa

His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa X
His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa
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  • Published:
    May 2022, 432 pages

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The Collapse of Reconstruction

This article relates to His Name Is George Floyd

In His Name Is George Floyd, authors Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa explain how Floyd's ancestors were dispossessed of their lucrative North Carolina farmlands via shady financial documents and restrictions on their literacy rendering them unable to read those very documents. This is just one example of the reassertion of white supremacy following the post-war period known as Reconstruction, and it fits into a larger pattern of discrimination that accompanied the collapse of government efforts to enfranchise and protect formerly enslaved people.

At the close of the Civil War, Congress passed a series of Constitutional amendments and other legislation that established equal rights for newly emancipated Black Americans. Reconstruction, which lasted from 1865 to 1877, "saw the greatest expansion of human and civil rights ever witnessed in this nation," as Nikole Hannah-Jones explains in The 1619 Project. The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, outlawed slavery; the 14th, ratified ...

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