The freedoms gained during the First Reconstruction era from 1866-1891 set the basis for the work of activists and scholars during the Second Reconstruction or the Civil Rights Movement between 1945 -1969. Scholars and activists now argue that the “turmoil we are witnessing around us today is in fact the birth pangs of a Third Reconstruction.”* Each cycle of political, social, and cultural progress and the subsequent backlash challenges us live up to the rhetoric and ideology outlined in the Bill of Rights and the federal constitution. To quote President Barack Obama, “When Everybody Is Equal, We Are All More Free”. We need to move forward together to create a more perfect union.
*Barber, William J. and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement. Boston: Beacon Press, 2016.