Roll Of Thunder Portfolio Masonn Carrillo Period 4

Jim Crow Laws


The Jim Crow laws didn't let African Americans go to the same parks as whites. According to the National Park Service, it was "unlawful for colored people to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the benefit, use and enjoyment of white persons If a black man or woman was in a white park, they could get lynched or punished.

Voting Laws

During the era of Jim Crow, several voting laws made it hard for African-Americans to vote. Poll tests were difficult and designed to be failed. Taxes were required, and many poorer African Americans could not afford to pay in order to vote. Finally it was difficult to find transportation to the polls, and even the sheriff could stop them from voting entirely.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a time when the stock market crashed, and most people lost their jobs. It was hard for people to get new jobs. During the Great Depression, many people not only lost jobs, but lost their homes as well. Since they didn't have jobs, they couldn't afford to pay for their house and had to live on the streets in tent. In the Roll of Thunder, Papa had to work on the railroad, because it was hard for him to get any other job because of his color, and because of the Great Depression. Many people suffered from the Great Depression.

These pictures show people struggling to get money, food, and jobs during the Great Depression

Abolishment of Slavery

On January 1st, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in the middle of the Civil War, saying that "...all persons held as slaves within any State in rebellion against the United States, shall be forever free". After the Union armies won the Civil War, African-Americans found themselves free men and women for the first time. Many found it difficult to be seen as equals. In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mama tells Cassie that “...even the Northerners who fought the war didn’t really see us equal to white people.” (Taylor 192). Even in the twenty-first century, African-Americans still feel the legacy of slavery in attempting to achieve equality.

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." -The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America


Lynching is the process of punishing a person for a crime without giving them a fair or legal trial. Lynching was common in the United States during the time of Jim Crow, especially in the South. in the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, lynching is a common occurrence. A character named Mr. Berry is burned early in the novel by the Wallace family when he is falsely accused of being inappropriate with a white woman, and is burned nearly to death. Later in the novel, the character T.J. is almost killed by a mob who wants to punish him for taking a pistol from the Barrett's and injuring them. Mr. Jamison is a lawyer who is trying to stop them. “. . .let the sheriff and me take the boy. Let the law decide whether or not he’s guilty.” (Taylor 371)

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