The Civil War was undeniably an integral event in American history, but for African Americans, whose personal liberties were dependent upon its outcome, it was an especially critical juncture. The Union defeat of the Confederacy brought African Americans a simultaneous victory over their captors, freeing them from slavery and domination and establishing them as masters of their own fate. But African Americans were far from passive victims of the war. Black soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict_Union and Confederate.
In Climbing Up to Glory: A Short History of African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction, Wilbert L. Jenkins explores this defining period in a story that documents the journey of average African Americans as they struggled to reinvent their lives following the abolition of slavery.
In this highly readable book, Jenkins examines the unflagging determination and inner strength of African Americans as they sought to construct a solid economic base for themselves and their families by establishing their own businesses and banks and strove to own their own land. He portrays the racial violence and other obstacles blacks endured as they pooled meager resources to institute and maintain their own schools and attempted to participate in the political process.
The family unit was also impacted by these profound societal changes. During this tumultuous time, African Americans struggled to rebuild families torn apart by slavery and to legalize family relationships such as slave marriages that were previously deemed unlawful.
Compelling and informative, Climbing Up to Glory is an unforgettable tribute to a glowing period in African-American history sure to enrich and inspire American and African-American history enthusiasts.