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Downfalls of Emancipation Proclamation In Not Granting Rights

In Bricks Without Straw, Tourgee addresses the issue of civil liberties granted to African Americans as a way to see the inadequacies of the Emancipation Proclamation. In his writing he highlights the fact that though this abolished slavery in the Confederate states (though not the border states), the fact that it didn’t grant any other rights was truly problematic. “Slavery was abolished--by proclamation, by national enactment, by constitutional amendment … But that was all. He could not contract, testify, marry or give in marriage. He had neither property, knowledge, right, or power” (Item 581). This is interesting because it is a critique of a proclamation which many hold in an
incredibly high regard because of its significance. However, Tourgee argues that it isn’t quite enough that this institution was eradicated because it left freed slaves in a difficult position. They were not legally owned by another individual but didn’t possess the rights, education or training to make a life on their own. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t consider the problems with leaving African Americans free with no real ability to thrive in America.  It wasn’t until further legislation was passed that they would eventually possess the skills and training to work to being as successful as many white Americans.