See how much you know about racial unrest and civil rights in the USA by playing this KS3 History quiz. Segregation was the norm during the century or so that passed between the abolition of slavery and the granting of equal civil rights to blacks in the USA. Many white Americans had difficulty with seeing black people as free and equal. In 1919 a black boy was stoned and drowned after swimming in part of a lake reserved for whites! Following the end of the civil war, many whites in the south were angry about the abolition of slavery. A hate group called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed. They murdered many freedmen and laws passed in 1870 and 1871 helped to stop their crimes.
Despite that, things still didn't settle down. The period from 1877 to the early part of the twentieth century have been called the 'nadir of American race relations'. Nadir is the opposite to the word apex so what this phrase means is that race relations could not have been any worse. The definitions of white and black were not clear either, for example, Irish Protestant immigrants doing manual labour were not regarded as whites.
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