Trite but True: The Color Line during Alabama's First Reconstruction,
1865-1874 and Onward
"This article will show that white Alabamians had no reason to worry about a black takeover during the state's nine-year reconstruction from 1865 through 1874; few blacks wielded significant power outside predominantly black communities. To support this argument, emphasis will be placed on the legal obstacles that white lawmakers put in place following Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox to prevent leading blacks from obtaining important political positions and to regulate the psychological freedom of the black populace. This discussion will be augmented by an examination of the attempts made by African Americans, egalitarian whites, and federal agencies such as the Freedmen's Bureau to counterbalance the effects of neoslavery through educational and other progressive reforms. Further exploration will center on how biracial attempts to achieve universal equality were hindered not only by conservative white Democrats who loathed the thought of "Negro rule," but also by conservative white Republicans who limited black participation in the party, ignored black concerns, and thus fed Jim Crow in Alabama.8"