Reconstruction was a time of great promise and progress for African Americans. With the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in place, and the support of Radical Republicans in Congress, African Americans gained the right to vote, were elected to public offices, sat on juries, acquired land, established churches, married, sought employment and education, and enjoyed access to public accommodations.
These gains, however, were short-lived. Southern Democrats, afraid of losing political power to African Americans, made every effort to roll back the progress made during Reconstruction. Through racist propaganda, intimidation, violence, and legislation, a system of segregation and second-class citizenship for African Americans emerged—Jim Crow laws.
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Watch the video, which presents how the case of Plessy v. Ferguson helped to legalize segregation and the era of Jim Crow. Then answer the following questions in the notes section:
● Who was Homer Plessy?
● What was the effect of the Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson?
● Together with Plessy v. Ferguson, what other Supreme Court decision helped end Reconstruction?