Henry Louis Gates Jr. Points To Reconstruction As The Genesis Of White Supremacy


Olde Hornet

Well-Known Member

Henry Louis Gates, welcome back to FRESH AIR. It's a pleasure to have you back on our show. Part of the reason why you wanted to do this book is that Reconstruction and Redemption, the period that rolled back the gains of Reconstruction, seem particularly relevant to you now. Why?

HENRY LOUIS GATES: Reconstruction was a period of 12 years of maximum black freedom followed by an "all-right" rollback. What's that sound like? What's that remind you of right now?

(LAUGHTER)

GATES: Dyllan McGee and I - my partner - had a list of three black history series that we wanted to do for PBS - one was on the black church, one was on the Great Migration, and one was on Reconstruction and Redemption, the official name of the rollback to reconstruction. And we had decided to start with the Great Migration, and then Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.

And I realized that what we were seeing, what we were witnessing, was Reconstruction redux - the period of black optimism and black hope, when we thought that - you know, even for a time, scholars fantasized that we were at the end of race and racism. You remember that, at the beginning of Barack Obama's presidency? All of that was followed by an "alt-right" rollback and the rise of white supremacy, and that's exactly what happened in the period immediately following the Civil War, between 1865 and 1877, when black people experienced more freedom and more rights than at any other time in American history.

Eighty percent of all the eligible black men in the former Confederate states registered to vote, and in 1868, 500,000 cast their votes overwhelmingly for Ulysses S. Grant. And the irony is Grant only won the popular election by just over 300,000 votes. So historians said, quite accurately, that black men actually elected a white man president of the United States - Ulysses S. Grant. This is three years after the end of slavery. And in South Carolina, which was a majority black state, they actually had a majority of black members of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

GROSS: And the South wouldn't stand for it (laughter).

GATES: No, the South wouldn't stand for it. In fact...

GROSS: That's where there was a rollback, yeah.
 

PsychoJag

We Run The SWAC

Henry Louis Gates, welcome back to FRESH AIR. It's a pleasure to have you back on our show. Part of the reason why you wanted to do this book is that Reconstruction and Redemption, the period that rolled back the gains of Reconstruction, seem particularly relevant to you now. Why?

HENRY LOUIS GATES: Reconstruction was a period of 12 years of maximum black freedom followed by an "all-right" rollback. What's that sound like? What's that remind you of right now?

(LAUGHTER)

GATES: Dyllan McGee and I - my partner - had a list of three black history series that we wanted to do for PBS - one was on the black church, one was on the Great Migration, and one was on Reconstruction and Redemption, the official name of the rollback to reconstruction. And we had decided to start with the Great Migration, and then Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.

And I realized that what we were seeing, what we were witnessing, was Reconstruction redux - the period of black optimism and black hope, when we thought that - you know, even for a time, scholars fantasized that we were at the end of race and racism. You remember that, at the beginning of Barack Obama's presidency? All of that was followed by an "alt-right" rollback and the rise of white supremacy, and that's exactly what happened in the period immediately following the Civil War, between 1865 and 1877, when black people experienced more freedom and more rights than at any other time in American history.

Eighty percent of all the eligible black men in the former Confederate states registered to vote, and in 1868, 500,000 cast their votes overwhelmingly for Ulysses S. Grant. And the irony is Grant only won the popular election by just over 300,000 votes. So historians said, quite accurately, that black men actually elected a white man president of the United States - Ulysses S. Grant. This is three years after the end of slavery. And in South Carolina, which was a majority black state, they actually had a majority of black members of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

GROSS: And the South wouldn't stand for it (laughter).

GATES: No, the South wouldn't stand for it. In fact...

GROSS: That's where there was a rollback, yeah.
Henry Louis Gates is on point.
 

JayRob

TigaPaw
No he isn't. The Reconstruction period occurred long after slavery in other parts of the world and then spread to the U.S..
White supremacy is a disease that occurred long before it hit North America.
 

Fiyah

Administrator
Staff member
No he isn't. The Reconstruction period occurred long after slavery in other parts of the world and then spread to the U.S..
White supremacy is a disease that occurred long before it hit North America.
He's referring to the U.S. Reconstruction period that occurred after the Civil War. The worst thing that happened was Lincoln being killed and Andrew Johnson taking over as President.
 

major095

ASU4real
I watched the first hour yesterday. doing hour 2 tonight. I disagree with gates on it beginning with reconstruction. The first africans arrived in north america not as slaves but indentured servants. they earned their freedom, were able to buy land and marry interracially w/in their social class. It wasn't until it was decided that africans would be the labor that they began to dehumanize africans, make it illegal for them to intermarry and to own land. It was then in north america that they otherrized us. They did the same to asians during the world war. If you get to new orleans and can check out the WWII museum it is absolutely sickening. This is how white supremacist operate, & we see it embodied in the president. Low iq maxine et al.
 

JayRob

TigaPaw
Actually the Olmecs were the first recorded people in North America along with the Washitaws Muurs during the Pangean era when the continents were still connected.
This should be known to those folks in the Monroe, La areas along with Baton Rouge.
They were called the Mound Builders, who built huge mounds in parts of the Americas and were civilized populations throughout the Americas.
Folks in Louisiana should be familiar with Poverty Point.
Black indigenous natives were in the Americas thousands of years before Europeans even knew the "Americas" existed. The Europeans were still living in caves and not even bathing before they found out about the Americas.
Native American and European documents have admitted to this much.
We need to quit letting white folks whitewash our history, even though many of them know it and refuse to tell it due to white supremacy which existed in the Americas long before some "Reconstruction" period.
 

JayRob

TigaPaw
By the way, Columbus wrote in many of his notes that when he reached the "Americas", Black wooly haired peoples were already here and were civilized.
Not sure why folks like Henry Gates don't mention this. Well, I do, but that's another story.
 

Storm96

Well-Known Member
Actually the Olmecs were the first recorded people in North America along with the Washitaws Muurs during the Pangean era when the continents were still connected.
This should be known to those folks in the Monroe, La areas along with Baton Rouge.
They were called the Mound Builders, who built huge mounds in parts of the Americas and were civilized populations throughout the Americas.
Folks in Louisiana should be familiar with Poverty Point.
Black indigenous natives were in the Americas thousands of years before Europeans even knew the "Americas" existed. The Europeans were still living in caves and not even bathing before they found out about the Americas.
Native American and European documents have admitted to this much.
We need to quit letting white folks whitewash our history, even though many of them know it and refuse to tell it due to white supremacy which existed in the Americas long before some "Reconstruction" period.

I concur with everything you've said in this thread. Henry Louis Gates has pre-existing conditions that tend to taint his perspective
 
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