Tag: Reconstruction

The Argument Against D.C. Statehood Is Rooted in Racism

In February of 1873, James Shepherd Pike, a radical Republican journalist and longtime advocate for black suffrage, was assigned by the New York Tribune to cover a Deep South state legislature in the midst of Reconstruction. At the time, governments across the region, thanks to the policies enacted by the federal government, had begun to […]

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The Impossibility of Impeachment

Polling outfits routinely ask historians and political scientists to rate the presidents from worst to best. It’s an inherently frustrating exercise. Does “greatness” depend on what a chief executive accomplished or instead on his ability to bend Congress to his will and influence his successors? How should we evaluate a president like Lyndon Johnson, who […]

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Racial Terror and the Second Repeal of Reconstruction

This April, PBS aired a groundbreaking documentary series on the fate of Reconstruction—and therefore of Black America. Featuring more than 40 scholars (myself among them) and Black descendants of key figures in Reconstruction’s history, this copiously researched chronicle also doubles as a powerful and chilling window on to our own age of violent and resurgent […]

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