Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Lesson Plans > After Reconstruction

Back to Lesson Plans

Negro expulsion from railway car

[Detail] Negro expulsion from railway car

Lesson Overview

The collection African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907, contains pamphlets and other materials, most of which were written by African American authors about pressing issues of the day. In this lesson, students use the collection's Timeline of African American History, 1852-1925 to identify problems and issues facing African Americans immediately after Reconstruction. Working in small groups on assigned issues, students search the collection for documents that describe the problem and consider opposing points of view, and suggest a remedy for the problem. Students then present the results of their research in a simulated African American Congress, modeled on a congress documented in the collection's special presentation, Progress of a People.


After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe issues or problems facing African Americans following Reconstruction.
  • Explain possible solutions to these problems suggested in the sources found, and cite arguments for and against these solutions.
  • Make inferences based on a timeline.
  • Analyze primary source documents.
  • Search a data base to identify documents related to a topic or problem.


Time Required

  • One week

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12


  • African American History


  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Rise of Industrial America