Historian Eric Foner F'72 interviewed for NPR’s Fresh Air.

06/11/2020

“... I think African Americans have a very different view of what freedom is than most white people, and that's because of different historical experiences...most white people in this country think freedom is something they have and that somebody often is trying to take away from them. Most black people in this country think that freedom is something they are aspiring to achieve. It's a process. It's something to be fully gained in the future."

"And that is a basic difference which affects their views on many, many aspects of our society, whether it's the law, the criminal justice system, the economic system, etc... so the Civil War and Reconstruction is a critical moment in the evolution of American ideas of freedom. But it was a period in which freedom was hotly contested and which different groups of people had very different ideas about what freedom really ought to entail.”

Link to the recorded interview here.