Jim Crow laws prohibited blacks from going to the same parks as whites. According to the National Park Service listing of Jim Crow laws 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 one of the parks, they were in danger of being punished or even lynched.
During the era of Jim Crow, several voting laws made it incredibly difficult for African-Americans to vote. Grandfather laws made it so that African-Americans could not vote unless their grandfathers had voted in a previous election. 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
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry takes place during the Great Depression. The Great Depression occurred during the 1920s and 1930s when the stock market crashed, causing one in four Americans to lose their jobs and become unemployed. Work was very difficult to find, and many people traveled across the country looking for work. In addition to this, a severe drought was occurring, which made it difficult to farm, and caused enormous dust storms in the middle of the country, an event that was known as the Dust Bowl. Characters in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry are severely affected. Cassie and her brother Little Man are forced to read out of used books in their classroom, and Papa spends part of the year working for the railroad in Louisiana to earn money so the Logan family can keep their family farm.