Alabama's Black Leaders During Reconstruction
Alabama's Black Leaders
Few were wealthy, educated, or well-traveled before assuming public office.
Few had military experience.
Most were ex-slaves.
Most lived in the Black Belt; others lived in the Tennessee Valley, and the Mobile area.
Some had been ministers in antebellum Alabama.
, had been a bridge builder.
Helped pave the way for universal public education.
Helped change laws regarding imprisonment for debt and inheritance for women.
Introduced state's first civil rights bill in state House of Representatives and Senate.
Helped introduce the Republican party to Alabama; helped make it a formidable force.
Established first black banks and labor union.
Helped establish schools and churches.
Other Important Points:
Alabama's Reconstruction black leaders began to emerge when the Freedmen's Conventions met in Mobile in 1865 and 1867.
The Reconstruction Acts of 1867 gave the state its first group of black political leaders.
The first group of black lawmakers in Alabama was comprised of registrars, who assumed their duties in 1867.
There were 45 registrars chosen in accordance with the Reconstruction Acts of 1867.
One black registrar was chosen for every two white registrars.
The Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1867 was the first time blacks had been delegates to such a body, giving blacks their first opportunity to help draft a constitutionthe Constitution of 1868.
Reconstruction produced three black representatives in Congress.
Black leaders were not the pawns of carpetbaggers.
Black leaders were men of vision and many talents.