Journey to Equality: Examining the Promise, Reality, and Legacy of Reconstruction | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class Online Courses

Journey to Equality: Examining the Promise, Reality, and Legacy of Reconstruction

“The Shackle Broken by the Genius of Freedom.” E. Saches & Co., 1874. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
This course begins with a celebration of the freedoms of Black Americans at the end of the American Civil War. While providing an overview of the major policies and events, it centers on the role of Black Americans in securing freedom and making significant gains during the period.

The course explores the expansion of voting rights and the ascendancy of Black men to positions in local, state, and national governments. There is also a consideration of Black women’s lives in the American South as teachers, active church members, and writers. Information is included on the violence that occurred in the American South that was reinforced by Jim Crow laws. The final module encourages all participants to consider the ways in which the Reconstruction period and Jim Crow laws contributed to the Segregation Era and the racial violence and injustice that still continues today.

To explore these topics, participants will engage with primary source documents, online digital collections, and the published writings of Black thinkers and journalists of the late nineteenth century.

Sample Topics
  • Transcribing the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers
  • The Church and Reconstruction
  • A Turning Point for Reconstruction: Wilmington Massacre and Coup d’état of 1898
Professional Development Hours

Fall/Spring six-week course: 35

Registration: FREE

Spring Session: January 29–March 22, 2024