It took a lot of deference to satisfy Southern whites

” ‘Southern whites,’ a Freedmen’s Bureau agent observed, ‘are quite indignant if they are not treated with the same deference that they were accustomed to’ under slavery, and behavior that departed from the etiquette of antebellum race relations frequently provoked violence….

“One North Carolina planter complained bitterly to a Union officer that a black soldier had ‘bowed to me and said good morning,’ insisting blacks must never address whites unless spoken to first.”

— From “Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877” by Eric Foner (2002)

 

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