An Analysis of Reaping the Whirlwind: The Civil RightsMovement in TuskegeeWhen a person, who is a citizen of this country, thinks about civil rights, they often they about the Civil Rights Movement which took place in this nation during mid 11950s and primarily through the 1960s.
They think about the marches, sit-ins, boycotts, and other demonstrations that took place during that period. They also think about influential people during that period such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , Medgar Evers, John Lewis, Rosa parks, and other people who made contributions during that movement which change the course of society’s was of life in America. In some people view, the Civil Rights Movement began when the Supreme Court rendered their decision in Brown vs.
Education, or when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Bus and the Montgomery Bus-Boycott began. However, the Civil Rights Movement had already begun in several cities in the South. This was the case for the citizens of African descent of the city of Tuskegee. In his book, Reaping the Whirlwind: the civil rights movement in tuskegee Essay, Robert James Norrell clearly points out that the Negro citizens of Tuskegee had begun to fight for their Civil Rights in 1870.
By reading this book, one could infer that his purpose for writing it would be to inform his readers how the Negro Citizens of the City of Tuskegee gained their right as citizens in which they were entitled to enjoy. He particularly emphasized how they would demand for their right to vote as it is spelled out in the Constitution of this great nation. He also tells the story about power. How whites tried to keep control of their society and blacks kept seeking more independence. The subject of the book was how black votes could change the way of living in a community that was accustom to white supremacy. It focused on people who were a threat to whites being in control.
Anybody who tried to change the way of living in the interests of whites of that time in the Tuskegee was considered a threat to their society. Primary questions and issues that were raised were why could not the Negro citizen’s of the Tuskegee community enjoy the rights that the Constitution of the United States had given them to enjoy. It was because the heartiness of whites who who lived during that time who could not accept the fact that Negroes are no longer considered to be property. It was hard for them rationalize that Negroes are indeed humans and should be treated as such and thus should have the right to enjoy life by utilizing their rights which were given to them. In fact, Congress had to pass several pieces of legislation to spell out specifically what those rights were so they could no longer be assumed as they previously were. The issue that was primarily discussed throughout the book was the right to vote and for Negroes to hold political offices.
For some reason it was hard for people of European descent to see blacks equal to their capabilities. An example of this would be James Alston returned home from a Republican Party meeting, late one Saturday night at the Negro Zion Church in Tuskegee. Alston was the leader of the local black Republicans and also represented Macon County in the Alabama Legislature. As he and his wife were going to bed, gunfire was blasted through their house like hail.
Alston was struck in the back and hip and his wife, who was pregnant at the time, was hit in the foot. Incredibly, nobody was seriously injured in which more than three hundred-buckshot holes were counted. J. T.
Menifee, who was the county general and probate judge who was a Republican aligned with the Democrats made it absolutely clear that how white felt about blacks holding political offices. He made a stern warning on Saturday night events very clear: “a nigger couldn’t hold no office in this county no longer. ” (p. 4).
He later he told Alston that he was going to be shot and that “a nigger wasn’t fit for nothing else than to drive oxen, .