During America's colonial era (1776-1800s), slavery was a common and accepted practice. All of our "founding fathers" owned slaves, as we were a primarily Agrarian society at that point in time. Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and others all came from farming families, and slaves were a staple of that farm life. When the 1850s-1860s came, the Civil War supposedly ended slavery, even though many slaves stayed on with their masters rather than emancipating and taking on increased responsibilities and discrimination. Blacks were still discriminated against, they were still viewed as separate (and unequal), and intolerance and bigotry reached an all-time high by the 1890s. Groups like the KKK and others practiced lynchings (hangings), cross burnings, and tried other tactics to persecute and intimidate the black community. Blacks could not earn as much as white man, they could not vote, and they were still seen as inferior. The only significant change that occurred for blacks of this era was the official end of slavery.
In 1776 the majority of African-Americans were bond servants for life, and living mostly in the Southeast.After the Abolitionist Movement, and the Civil War ended in 1965,Blacks were given an opportunity to get an education directed by the Freedmens Bureau in the South, and even hold political office during the Reconstruction period.During Reconstruction the Freedmen Bureau spearheaded the establishment of black colleges, and several black colleges were created under the authority of the Morrill Act.