Reconstruction and the Arc of Racial (in)Justice
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Reconstruction and the Arc of Racial (in)Justice

Edited by Julian M. Hayter and George R. Goethals

This collection of original essays and commentary considers not merely how history has shaped the continuing struggle for racial equality, but also how backlash and resistance to racial reforms continue to dictate the state of race in America. Informed by a broad historical perspective, this book focuses primarily on the promise of Reconstruction, and the long demise of that promise. It traces the history of struggles for racial justice from the post US Civil War Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights decades of the 1950s and 1960s to the present day.
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Chapter 5: Veteran, author, activist: Joseph T. Wilson of Norfolk and black leadership in the Civil War era

Elizabeth R. Varon

Abstract

Chapter 5 discusses the life and work of Joseph T. Wilson, a Civil War veteran, through his literary career. Rather than examining Wilson’s book, The Black Phalanx: African American Soldiers in the War of Independence, the War of 1812, and the Civil War, solely as a reference work, Elizabeth R. Varon argues that Wilson’s career as a writer was inseparable from his political activism. In this chapter, Varon considers how Wilson’s lived experiences during the war and, later, in postwar Norfolk impacted and informed his writing.

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