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Tom Hawkins – ‘She Beat On Them for Most Anything’

What follows is an interview of former slave, Tom Hawkins. It was conducted in 1938 as part of the Federal Writers' Project. Mr. Hawkins, interviewed in his mid to late 70s when he lived in Athens, Georgia. After a short introduction by the interviewer, Mr. Hawkins tells his own story. Tom

Forgotten Heroes of Southern History: George Washington Albright – From Chains to Office

George Washington Albright was born enslaved to a Mississippi planter, but later served in the Reconstructed legislature. While in bondage, his mother secretly taught him to read and write. During the war, he took part in a secret organization bringing news of freedom to the enslaved people of the South. After the war ended, not only was he part of the new Mississippi government, he helped to organize free schools for the former slaves. When the Ku Klux Klan began to push back, he helped to form black militias to beat them back.

Mr. Albright goes on to explain why poor whites decided to side with the rich whites rather than with blacks and their own self-interests. He also explains why, by the 1900s, he could no longer consider himself part of the Republican Party.

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