THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK written in 1903 by W.E.B. Du Bois is a remarkable and insightful read, most relevant during Black History Month. This narrative which begins following the Emancipation Proclamation peels back every layer of the condition of the former slaves lives in the post Civil War era through the early years of the 20th Century. ” The Nation has not yet found peace from its sins; the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land.”
There is a contemporary book, a perfect companion read to Du Bois. Eric Foner’s THE SECOND FOUNDING/ HOW THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION REMADE THE CONSTITUTION. The book is an in depth academic study of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.