Amid the glamor and growth of the Gilded Age, racism and anti-immigrant hostility swept the nation. With the end of Reconstruction, white communities across the South stripped African Americans of their hard-won political rights and economic gains. But a new generation of activists fought the growing wave of discrimination and violence. Booker T. Washington championed black education, and journalist Ida B. Wells waged a fierce campaign against lynching.
In the West, labor groups fueled anti-Chinese resentment, building support for the first major federal law limiting immigration. In the mid-1880s, white mobs from Wyoming to Washington descended on Chinese neighborhoods, stoking hysteria and casting immigrants out of their homes.
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