Read and reviewed in December, 2012
I finished reading this book a few days ago. It took me a long time; it was a complicated book. I should read it again to get more understanding; maybe I will in a few weeks or months. Right now I need some light reading. (Note: I never did read it again, but sent it to another Bookcrosser.)
I did not know about all-black towns composed of former slaves after the American Civil War. This is an interesting subject; I will look it up.
Yes, bookbirds, black people, former slaves, were voted into office, even high state office, during the Reconstruction period immediately after the war. This was ended after a period of time (10 years, I think), and I guess it was hoped that everyone would accept a fully integrated society. Of course, we now know that that didn't happen. The Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws were the result of the stubborn racism that only simmered beneath the surface. In some respects, things are better now, but racism still simmers.
Other Bookcrosser's reviews, including Bookbird's, to which I responded, may be found here .