Between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the end of World War I in 1918, African Americans experienced their nadir. The Betrayal of the Negro (originally published as The Negro in American Life and Thought: The Nadir, 1877–1901 and subsequently expanded) is the only full-scale account to document with encyclopedic research this neglected phase in American history. The author examines every aspect of our country's post-Reconstruction retreat from equality: the economic factors, the Supreme Court decisions, Booker T. Washington and his "Era of Compromise," and, in a unique and disturbing survey, the racist caricatures that dominated the most liberal newspapers and magazines of the day. Dispassionate and insightful, Logan unfolds a narrative of national betrayal as harrowing as it is heartbreaking.
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First issued in 1954, this seminal work of black history was one of the first books to reinterpret the Reconstruction and to show how the freedmen's hopes were cruelly thwarted by cynical politicians. It documents "in devastating detail the political, economic, and cultural story of the retreat from equality." And, as prize-winning historian Eric Foner notes in his introduction, The Betrayal of the Negro provided "an overall framework that still helps to guide interpretations of the era." Also worth noting is the book's middle section, in which Rayford Logan examines the images of blacks that appeared in popular media such as newspapers and magazines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.About the Author:
A Harvard graduate, historian, author, and activist, Rayford W. Logan (1897–1982) chaired the Department of History at Howard University, edited the Journal of Negro History, and was one of the pioneering members of the civil rights movement.
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