restricted access Chapter Two. Redemption and Exile

This chapter offers a in-depth case study to describe how black southerners reconciled their hopes forged at emancipation with the collapse of Reconstruction. After a brief moment of political power and progress, black leaders in North Carolina watched as their political enemies regained control of state legislatures and used organized violence to suppress black voting and education. Across the South, black Protestants turned to different biblical narratives to make sense of these setbacks while still maintaining a belief that emancipation foreshadowed God's plans for a coming era of racial justice. In 1870, North Carolina's black state legislators used Queen Esther's story of Jewish persecution in exile to interpret their setbacks as temporary and to suggest specific strategies, including armed self-defense, for living as a minority in a hostile land. Without paying attention to the particulars of these exile stories, historians misinterpret the political aims of black leaders.


Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- Southern States -- Religion.
  • African Americans -- Southern States -- History.
  • African Americans -- Southern States -- Social conditions.
  • Freedmen -- Southern States -- Social conditions.
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877).
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access