Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Kiana Nguyen Period 4

Jim Crow Laws

Restraunt laws

One Jim Crow law applied to all restaurants. It ordered everyone licensed to conduct a restaurant, to serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively. They were not allowed to sell to the two races within the same room. They also weren't allowed serve the two races anywhere under the same license.

Intermarriage Laws

Another Jim Crow Law prohibited certain marriages. The certain marriages were ones between a person of color and a white person. On the off chance a white person and a colored person did manage to get married, it would be considered void. This law was created to prevent white people from mixing with colored people. This is an example of how white people back then thought colored purple were not worthy enough to marry them.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression took place during the 1920's and the 1930's and is also when Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is supposed to take place. That period of time is known as The Great Depression in American history because the stock market crashed everyone, even the wealthy, were struggling to hold on to jobs and money. A drought was also occurring during the Great Depression, which made it difficult to farm and caused severe dust storms. Franklin Roosevelt was the president then and did his best to bring America back to its former glory. He created a program called the New Deal that was to bring back economic relief and other recovery programs to America. In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry we see Papa struggle to hold onto his job at the railroads, the Logans worrying about losing their land because of their inability to pay their mortgage, and many families having to become a sharecropper for money. In fact, the entire story in Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, revolves around the Logan struggle to keep their land.

The first picture is a statue of Franklin Roosevelt, the president during the Great Depression; cotton which is what colored people during that time grew for money; the Dust Bowl; Monopoly, which was developed during the Great Depression; and railroads which supplied many men with jobs.

Abolishment of Slavery

On March 26th, 1864 President Abraham Lincoln stated, "If slavery isn't wrong, nothing is wrong" when asked to recruit slaves as soldiers in Kentuck ,saying that "I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling." It was until December 6th, 1865 when slavery officially ended after the North won the Civil War. But even the Northerners didn't believe that colored people should have the same rights as them. As you can see in Roll of Thinder, Hear My Cry, the Logans struggle to earn respect and to be treated equally. In the book Big Ma says, “And when the Civil War was fought and Mama Rachel and Papa Luke and all the other slaves were freed, people continued to think that way. Even the Northerners who fought the war didn’t really see us equal to white people.” (Taylor 217).

If slavery is not wrong nothing is wrong- Abraham Lincoln , March 26th 1865


Lynching is a punishment that is most often used to characterise informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor. This form of punishment was popular in the 1920s and 1930's. It was mostly used on colored people since most white people enjoyed the suffering of colored people. In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, we see colored people being lynched by white people as well as burned or hanged. Mr. Avery says, “Heard tell they lynched a boy a few days ago at Crosston.” when talking about the Wallaces (Taylor 80)


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