Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
At the end of the Civil War in 1865, African-Americans, recently freed from slavery, were promised the right to vote and a place in American society. While the military maintained order in the South during Reconstruction, the North withdrew its support following the election of 1876. Southern leadership began to reassert its domination of African-Americans by enacting Jim Crow laws that segregated the white and black population. Violence was also used to intimidate African-Americans and anyone deemed sympathetic to their cause. Black leaders met this challenge in a variety of ways. Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute and advocated a non-confrontational strategy for white and black relationships. Journalist Ida B. Wells struggled to bring attention to the practice of lynching. Episode one ends in 1896, the same year the Supreme Court upheld Jim Crow segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson. "Promises Betrayed" unfolds as an affecting oral history.
segregation, African-American, racism, civil-liberties, white-supremacy, lynching