Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 7: What is Freedom?
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7

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Blacks in Congress
Segment 3
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Many blacks were now elected to office See It Now - Blacks Elected in Mississippi. Mississippians Blanche Bruce See It Now - Blanche Bruce and Hiram Revels See It Now - Hiram Revels became U.S. senators. Revels took the old Senate seat of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis. The day he was sworn in, the Senate galleries were packed, and everyone stood as he walked down the aisle. Some observers burst into cheers. A Philadelphia newspaper wrote this on its editorial page: Hear It Now - Philadelphia Newspaper "Never since the birth of the republic has such an audience been assembled under one single roof. It embraced the greatest and the least American citizens."

It was difficult for Southern whites to accept what was happening. The Republican Party was ruling the entire South based on carpetbaggers, blacks, and scallawags—which is what Southern whites who defected to the Republican Party were being called. But worst of all was the fact that blacks were in power. Black people in Congress See It Now - Blacks in Congress! Black people in the state legislatures! Some whites really believed the racist myths. They believed blacks couldn't think as well as whites!

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Did You Know?
Atlanta was one city that tried not to live in the past: it described itself as the "New South." Maybe that was because it was a young city, founded only twenty-three years before the Civil War began. At first it was called "Terminus," because it was where the Western and Atlantic Railroad terminated. But when it started to grow—the railroad made that happen—it got a proper name.

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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