This is a free, full episode preview of Reconstruction, a new Slate Academy series made exclusively for Slate Plus members. To listen to future episodes, visit Slate.com/Reconstruction.
After the Civil War, some freedpeople ended up owning parcels of the land they had worked while enslaved. By the end of Reconstruction, most of them had no land to their names. In the first episode of Reconstruction: A Slate Academy, Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie explore how radical experiments in land ownership and redistribution both helped and failed freedpeople.
Their guest is Amy Murrell Taylor, historian at the University of Kentucky and author of The Divided Family in Civil War America.
Supplementary reading for this episode:
- Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration, Chapter 3 (“Of Rumors and Revelations”).
- Janet Sharp Hermann, The Pursuit of a Dream.
- Sydney Nathans, A Mind to Stay: White Plantation, Black Homeland.