Roll of Thunder Portfolio Wolf Wang PerioD 2

Jim Crow Laws

Non-Equal Rights

In this time, caricature was popular and in this picture, a black woman is being caricatured as dark black skin and large lips. This also shows in the corner that Pennsylvanians voted for "Negro" or black suffrage. This meant that there was a law that gave blacks a right to vote, which means that before this time, blacks couldn't vote.


Lynching, or the punishment without a fair trial was very popular and seen many times through Roll of Thunder. One of those times was when a couple of white men burn the Berry's alive, which doesn't kill them but FATALLY wounds them.

The Great Depression

In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry it takes place during the Great Depression where one out of every four Americans lost or had no jobs to keep supporting their families. This was caused by the stock market crashing in the 1920's and ended by rising in the late 1930's. During this time, Central America was going through a severe drought which brought a ton of dust storms which nicknamed the area at the time the "Dust Bowl".

Abolishment of Slavery

Slavery was something that all African Americans had to deal with in the Great Depression. In chapter six of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Uncle Hammer states these words "He pushed you off the sidewalk, Cassie? A grown man pushed you off the sidewalk? (Taylor 109)". Uncle Hammer had said this because a white man pushed her of the sidewalk because she was black. This was said in the Emancipation Proclamation by president Abraham Lincoln "I hereby call upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages. And I further declare and make known, that such persons will be received into the armed service of the United States."

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 was the act of performing a punishment without a fair trial. This was almost common in Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. In Roll of Thunder, many people were lynched, and all of them were dark skinned people. The people that were lynched were the Berry family, and (presumably) T.J. Avery. The Berry's were lynched by being burned and tarred, while what T.J. was lynched with is unknown. "But them men dragged him and Beacon both outa that house, and when old man Berry tried to stop it, they lit him afire with them boys." (Taylor 46)


Created with images by Patrick Feller - "Humble Negro Cemetery, Humble, Texas 0508101256BW" • WikiImages - "racial segregation racism black" • Image Editor - "10lynching19110525" • Leroy_Skalstad - "people homeless woman" • PublicDomainPictures - "alleyway back alley bin" • tpsdave - "man selling razors black and white" • Fæ - "Picking cotton in Georgia LCCN2007662067" • Charlie Phillips - "Lei Aurea ('Golden Law') ending slavery in Brazil, 1888"

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