By Richard Worth
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Extra resources for African Americans During Reconstruction (Slavery in the Americas)
This share of African-American families. was split between gangs of Some Southern children were workers, each of which might orphans because their parents receive only an eighth or a had died during the Civil War. twelfth of the crop. These children were often raised by relatives. However, the Black Codes permitted Southern courts to force AfricanAmerican orphans to work as apprentices for white plantation owners without being paid. In fact, any other black children who the court decided were not being properly raised by their parents could be taken from the parents and forced to work for free.
Often, these services began early in the morning with prayers and hymns. During the services, African Americans recalled their lack of freedom during slavery, the importance of emancipation, and their desire to remain free in the future. African-American Marriages D uring the era of slavery, AfricanAmerican marriages were not recognized by state laws in the South. Many couples wed each other in simple ceremonies. Some of them simply jumped over a broomstick in front of their friends, which made their marriage official, and these couples often lived together for many years.
Many schools were set up in local churches. During the slave era, African Americans had often been forced to attend churches run by whites. They were required to sit in the back or outside and listen to white ministers preach about obeying white masters. Some slaves, however, had refused to attend white churches. Instead, they held secret church gatherings in the woods near their plantations. These church gatherings were sometimes discovered by white slave patrols. The patrols traveled the roadways stopping slaves without passes or arresting groups of slaves who were meeting together.
African Americans During Reconstruction (Slavery in the Americas) by Richard Worth