Social Solutions to Poverty:
America's Struggle to Build a Just Society
A book by Scott Myers-Lipton


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Freedmen's Bureau  



As the Union army began moving through the South, African Americans came out to greet the liberating forces. As this trickle of desperate human beings became a flood, the question became what to do with emancipated blacks. Initially, African Americans congregated at Union fortresses throughout the South. The federal government put out a call to help the freed blacks, and new associations, as well as established charities, responded with clothes, money, schoolbooks, and teachers. Within a short time, it became clear that this was a national issue that demanded a national response. The federal government responded with the Freedmen¹s Bureau to provide African Americans with food, health care, schools, and land. This massive attempt to lift almost an entire people out of destitution made the emancipated blacks the wards, or responsibility, of the nation.

Myers-Lipton, p. 62

(Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty” © Paradigm Publishers 2006)



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