In honor of Black History Month, Yale Alumni Academy brings you a series of virtual tours and Academy Conversations on: African American Civil Rights from Reconstruction to Right Now. In this first installment, explore the history of African Americans in Yale and throughout the country during the years surrounding and including Reconstruction. Sign up for Yale Alumni Academy Conversations, and join a live discussion/study group of alumni following this content together
Reconstruction is one of the most pivotal and yet least understood periods in American history. It produced three constitutional amendments, unearthed dramatic interpretive challenges in our legislatures and generated ripples in our society still being felt to this day. Following the Civil War, approximately 2,000 African Americans held public office in local, state and federal legislatures. By the end of the era, that progress would be completely undone, setting the stage for the 20th century African American Civil Rights Movement.