Reconstruction: America After the Civil War | Inside Look

See how our past affects our present with this inside look of Reconstruction.

AIRED: April 09, 2019 | 0:02:00

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- Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.

It turns out that wasn't the end of the story.

It was just the beginning.

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This series is about the period called Reconstruction,

between 1865 and 1877

when families divided by slavery were reunited.

There was tremendous African American institution building.

Churches, schools.

The freed people valued education

and pursued it like their lives depended upon it.

- The story of Reconstruction,

it's generally not known, it's not told,

and when you don't know it,

you don't understand America today.

- Black men from 10 of the former Confederate states

are given the right to vote, and they voted.

- More than 1,500 black officials

move into positions of public leadership.

Then you ssee all of these black people in charge.

- It was enormously transformative

for a very short period of time.

That tremendous transformation caused a tremendous backlash.

- Just because Lee surrendered at Appomattox

didn't mean the people in the South

would surrender to negro rule.

They did not.

Ku Klux Klan was born in 1865 and 1866

and they used terrorism right away against black voters.

- There's so many ways that the story of Reconstruction

is foundational to understanding today's politics.

The struggle for racial equality was a national crisis

during Reconstruction and, for many people,

it's a national crisis today.

- We want to change the narrative

of the history of race and race relations

following the Civil War.

We want to tell the truth in all of its complexity

of America after the Civil War.

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