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In this unit, you have examined antebellum black abolitionists and activists, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. You have had the opportunity to think about the topic from various points of view and through the lenses of competing voices. Now you can pull the pieces together and create an argument of your own on this topic, in the form of an essay.
What did freedom mean to African Americans during this turbulent era?
To answer this question, you may wish to consider some related issues, which you may have explored within each chapter. You can review the “Questions to Think About” section of each chapter and think about the following questions.
What aspirations did black abolitionists and activists express before the Civil War?
What roles did enslaved and free blacks play during the Civil War?
What did former slaves want, and how did they attempt to achieve those goals?
What challenges did former slaves encounter as they struggled to secure their freedom?
As you think about, organize, and write your essay, keep these points in mind.
Start with a thesis. To answer the question, begin with a clear, unique, concise, and argumentative statement, expressing your essential point of view.
Support your thesis with evidence. Use specific details, facts, and data. Make sure you draw from the primary sources and scholarly essays you read in MindTap over the course of this unit, and that you have taken into account their authors’ intent and potential biases. You can also look at the chapter-level Further Reading lists for additional information or conduct your own research using the Questia app, the red circle ‘i’ icon located on the app dock within MindTap.
Follow your instructor’s additional guidelines in terms of content, length, and formatting.