Roll of Thunder Portfolio Kendall Gordon p. 2

Jim Crow Laws

Hand Shaking

Colored people and white people could not shake hands because of many reasons. First, they could be accused of shaking hands so the consequences could be hung or lynched. They couldn't shake hands because of rights that the white people had over the colored people.

Voting Rights

Many colored people couldn't vote because the consequences were very severe. They had to take a very hard test and even if they passed, there would be officers there to arrest them. The officers would arrest the colored peogple for being accused of cheating.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression years were in between the years from the 1920's to the 1930's. It was called this because of many reasons, such as many people losing their jobs, getting less money for their families. They also couldn't provide a home for their families either. As a result in people losing their jobs, the stock markets crashed causing the jobs of many people to fail. Many people had to just move on and try to find another job somewhere else. Later down the road, a drought began to start, effecting farming. This is bad because the farmers had to grow crops and without rain or water supplying it, it would soon fail. With all the people that lost their job because of the drought and the stock markets that crashed, this time became known as The Dust Bowl. In the Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry book, it takes place in The Great Depression years. An example of The Great Depression in Roll of Thunder would be when Papa goes out to find a job to provide for his family and to keep his land.

Many people got put out of their jobs like the farmers when there became a drought and the workers for example, the railroad workers, when the stock market crashed. Food became scarce so the population started to starve.

Abolishment of Slavery

Abolishment of slavery now compared to then is a lot different. Now, people are a lot more free and can do way more many things than back before when they couldn't. In Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation, it states, "And I hereby call upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless if necessary self defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages." When he declared this, I think that when they were freed, they still weren't all seen as equal humans. In Roll of Thunder, Uncle Hammer says, "If I'd knock his girl down, you know what would have happened to me? Yeah, you know alright. Right now I'd be hanging from that oak over yonder," it says on page 263. This is an example that even though they were free they really weren't at the same time because of the equality.

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime wherefor 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 when someone is being punished for something that they did, but do not get a trial by jury or get a say in anything. In The Roll of Thunder, lynching is pretty common especially for all of the colored people. In the Roll of Thunder book, Mr. Tatum gets feathered and tarred because he was speaking up for what he thought was right and called the white people liars. On page 125 it says that, "You callin' me a liar boy? Mr. Barnett says. And Mr. Tatum says, 'Yessuh, I guess I is!" This probably made Mr. Barnett mad and wanted to get revenge on him. More people were probably like this, but instead of tar and feathers, they lynched people.


Created with images by statelibrarywa - "At the Polling Booths 1940 - Can you help us identify who they are?" • WikiImages - "woman children florence thompson"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.