During was still segregation between whites and blacks. Liberating

During the Reconstruction era, thousands of African Americans were elected to local and state governments, but there was still segregation between whites and blacks. Liberating slaves did not change the South’s view of them, meaning government laws can only change societal issues to an extent.  Their rights were stated in the Mississippi Black Codes. They were granted rights that they were entitled to, but they still had restrictions of things that they could do.In the Mississippi Black Codes, it was stated that former slaves were given liberty but had many restrictions. “No freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police or his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife, and or conviction thereof in the county court shall be punished by fine” (Document A Mississippi Black Codes). This demonstrates that a government policy did not completely change the societal issue of blacks being treated unequal to whites. They were not allowed to carry fire-arms, not allowed to assemble, and could not marry a white person. “…Every freedman, free negro and mulatto shall, on the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and annually thereafter, have a lawful home or employment, and shall have written evidence thereof…” (Document A Mississippi Black Codes).  This shows the attempt of partially changing the societal issue of inequality by guaranteeing former slaves shelter and employment.Although former slaves were given these new rights, there were conflicts between them and people who thought they were unequal to whites. Document K shows an image that has an individual from the KKK torturing a black couple and their child. It symbolizes racism and how blacks were still deprived of human rights despite the government making laws to establish equality.  “We believe you are not familiar with the description of the Ku Klux Klan riding nightly over the country, going from county to county, and in the county towns, spreading terror wherever they go by robbing, whipping, ravishing, and killing our people without provocation, competing colored people to break the ice and bathe in the chilly waters of the Kentucky River” (Document K). This illustrates the terror that African Americans had to experience because of the conflicts between races. Although they were granted freedom, they were not free from the harassment and abuse given to them by whites. The state legislature refused to enact any laws to stop the KKK.In Dubois’ book “Black Reconstruction” he describes what is taught to children in schools about reconstruction and different views of what happened during it. “Three-fourths of the testimony against the Negro in Reconstruction is on the unsupported evidence of men who hated and despised Negros and regarded it as loyalty to blood, patriotism to country, and fill tribute to the father’s to lie, steal, or kill in order to discredit these black folk” (Dubois, 725). This shows that society viewed black people as inferior and if one were to think otherwise, they would not be fitting into the normality. They were viewed as people who did bad things and were ignorant and incapable of doing anything due to their lack of education. So, creating a law to make them equal would not change how society would treat blacks, which is what happened “written in the main before that.In portraying the failure of legislation in changing societal issues, Dubois (359) asserts that “after the Civil War, the southern working class that comprised of poor whites and the freed black men were divided along racial lines.” This as a result made it impossible for the poor to unite against the propertied southern whites that comprised of former planters. As a result, the propertied class managed to regain control of state legislatures through passing some policies like the Jim Crow laws that played a significant role in disfranchising most blacks as well as other poor whites through the 19th and the early 20th century. Here, Dubois demonstrates that it is tall order for laws or policies to change societal issues especially where there are immediate expectations. The issue of race within the American south was the problem in the society during slavery and equally during reconstruction. Therefore, other than the poor whites perceiving themselves in the context of poverty like their freed black counterparts, they considered themselves superior on the basis of race thus limiting the intention of the policies adopted during legislation.However, on the long-run, policies or legislation has a possibility of changing societal issues. This is mostly depicted by the fact that most of the challenges faced by the blacks in the south were addressed with time based on the provisions in the reconstruction agenda. Notable examples comprise of establishment of public education and even later on abolishing of laws that were oppressive to the blacks. As such, it is an indication that changing societal issues through legislation is achievable, but it may take longer than the intended timeline.