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Jim Crow Era


The term “Jim Crow” signifies the elaborate legal and social structure the South used to enforce the continued subordination of the black population after emancipation. This codified system of segregation denied free blacks access to the political process, limited their education and economic opportunities, and dehumanized them based on false notions of white superiority. In addition, southern whites employed terror through intimidation and extra legal violence, especially lynching, to doom the promise of Reconstruction. Show students what life was like for black Americans during the Jim Crow era with primary source documents that include eyewitness accounts of racial prejudice and terrorization, examples of segregation and disfranchisement laws, riveting photographs and President Truman’s Executive Order to desegregate the military. Historian: Beth Haverkamp Powers. The contents of this Focus Jackdaw feature:

Support Materials

  • Illustrated Broadsheet Essay
  • Timeline
  • Critical Thinking Questions
  • Recommended Reading List

Historical Documents

  • Statement of George Smith regarding Ku Klux Klan intimidation of blacks prior to the presidential election, 1869, and related political cartoon.
  • Excerpts from “Constitution of the State of South Carolina,” 1895.
  • Excerpts from “Lynch Law in Georgia,” by Ida B. Wells-Barnett, 1899.
  • Pages of the Indianapolis Record describing racial prejudice, peonage in the South, and lynching of blacks, 1912.
  • Letter from NAACP secretary Walter White to Eleanor Roosevelt about lynching, 1934.
  • President Truman’s Executive Order desegregating the military, 1948.
  • Mississippi voter registration form, 1955.
  • Jim Crow photo-poster.

Price: $36.50



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