Black Reconstruction in America
Chapter 1: The Black Worker
This chapter discusses the fundamental role played by the black slave workers in the growth of the American economy. It is no secret that the black workers were hired to work for all the grunt work as they provided cheap labor. Detailed insight into their lives makes the readers realize that black workers served as a foundation for the many successes of white people. However; they received inhumane treatment, were not perceived as humans and free black men were a threat to white man’s American dream. This chapter shows the so-called civilized white man’s barbaric treatment of black men.
Chapter 2: The White Worker
In this chapter, the working class of the white men is discussed but it is not long when the reader realizes that even as labor, they had white privilege. They were free and most important of all had agency over the black men. There was a clear dislike associated with being classified as labor because they believed that they could emancipate themselves “from the necessity of continuous toil”. This gives us a clear picture of the racial advantage that came with being a white person. It is interesting to observe that they blamed the slaves for stealing their jobs but they were also not against slavery, as long as they were treated better than the slaves.
Chapter 3: The Planter
This chapter enforces the doctrine of black inferiority and white privilege. A new class is introduced in this chapter called the planters that are dominant in terms of ownership of the labors, land and capital. We get a glimpse of their luxurious life as they exploited the slaves on their plantations and lived off of their hard work. They were lawless and vulgar controlling the lives of the slaves down to their sexuality. They also had a delusional point of view that the slaves had better lives on their plantations as black people were not able to “achieve higher intelligence and efficiency”. The continuous hard work required from the slaves broke their homes and as the black population suffered, the cotton plantation thrived.
In conclusion, these chapters provide insight as to why the black people revolted against the Southern planters and fought for their rights. Although the more blatant racist practices have been abolished, we still witness and experience the racism and the white privilege still stands. It is not wrong to state that although we have come a long way, there is still a long way to go.