Roll of thunder portfolio Kenny Gate - Period 4, English 7 Honors

Jim Crow Laws


The Jim Crow laws made it so that African Amerians were seperated from whites. According to the National Park Service's list of Jim Crow laws, "It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room." Africans that did not follow these laws could be lyched if it came down to it.

Telephone Booths

Racial segregation laws prohibited the sharing of telephone booths between races. Blacks and whites had separate booths when there was a demand for it. The Corporation Commission determined the necessity of these booths upon a made complaint.

The Great Depression

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a book that was written during the time of the the Great Depression. The New Gorgia Encyclopedia states, "The beginning of the Great Depression can be traced to the stock market crash of Tuesday, October 29, 1929." The Great Depression itself lasted during the 1920s and 1930s and caused about a quarter of the population to lose their job. This shows in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry when the school can't afford anything for themselves. The drought, beginning in 1925, caused some to quit farming.

Abolishment of slavery

On the first day of 1863, President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in his Emancipation Proclimation. In it he said, "...all persons held as slaves ... shall be forever free". Even though the African Americans could no longer be enslaved, they were still not treated fairly. When Mama told Cassie this, she said, “White people may demand our respect, but what we give them is not respect but fear.” (Taylor 129)

"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 act of persecuting a person without giving them a fair trial. Lynching was commonly used on African Americans during the Jim Crow Era. TJ was going to be lynched in Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry for killing Mr. Barnett, attacking his wife, and robbing his mercantile. All these things were R.W. and Melvin's fault, but because of T.J. being the only recognizable one, and being African American, he was blamed. “Miz Barnett, when she come to and got help, said three black boys robbed their store and knocked out her and her husband.” (Taylor 253)


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