Description is exactly "A great book by native Alabamian Prof. Richard Bailey, who has lectured several times in Florence, on black officeholders such as Florence native and Republican Congressman (1873-1875) James T. Rapier (1838-1883) during Reconstruction in Alabama.
This book provides an in-depth look at the struggles of blacks in Alabama to become a part of a political system that up until then had denied them that right. It sheds particular light upon the political gains made by the freedmen in Alabama from the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction up through the late 1870s and early 1880s. It tracks the political advances made by black Republican officeholders against a majority white Democratic establishment keen on courting blacks away from the GOP in order to regain and bolster it own power. However the book also examines black education in Alabama during Reconstruction, as black educational opportunities arose alongside political opportunities, and chronicles the founding and early history of several notable black colleges and universities in Alabama.
The book is heavily foot-noted, indexed, and contains a large bibliography and many black and white photos. The appendices contain, among other things, an alphabetical list of black officeholders in Alabama 1867-1884"