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Breaking Barriers: Reconstruction & African American Leaders

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Social Studies +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection is designed to support teachers and students exploring the 2020 National History Day theme: Breaking Barriers in History. Included in this collection is an overview of Reconstruction and three African American leaders aligned with the NHD theme.

These resources - including  photographs, primary source documents, portraits, and articles - explore the efforts of Frederick Douglass, Hiram Revels, and Blance Bruce in overcoming  social, political, and economic barriers throughout the era following the Civil War known as Reconstruction. These men were influential African American leaders who exemplified what was possible for newly freed people in the United States during this era and who continue to inspire African American leaders to this day. It also explores the violent backlash to these changes in the political and social spheres of the United States - most notably through the terrorist activity of the Ku Klux Klan. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive;rather, it is intended to act as a starting point and provide inspiration for further research. 

#NHD2020

Emancipation Proclamation

National Portrait Gallery

Reconstruction of the South

National Portrait Gallery

Assassination of President Lincoln

National Portrait Gallery

Andrew Johnson

National Portrait Gallery

Heroes of the Colored Race

National Portrait Gallery

Frederick Douglass

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Frederick Douglass' Paper

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Freedman's Savings Bank

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Get Thee Behind Me, (Mrs.) Satan!

National Portrait Gallery

25c Frederick Douglass single

National Postal Museum

Lithographic print of Hiram Revels

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Fifteenth Amendment. Celebrated May 19th 1870

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Case of Dred Scott in the United States Supreme Court

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Blanche Bruce - Register of the Treasury

National Museum of American History

Sorting Activity

Sorting Activity

Visit of the Ku-Klux

Library of Congress

John R. Lewis

National Portrait Gallery

Poster for presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Delegate

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Jesse Jackson

National Portrait Gallery

Barack Obama

National Portrait Gallery