African American Schools were very different than the "white" schools. Under the Jim Crow laws, the African Americans did not have as many rights as the white people did. "Black" schools were smaller and more run down than the "white" schools. The children in "black" schools sat on benches, where as the children in "white" schools had individual desks.
On buses, an African American had to give up his or her seat if a white person was standing. The African Americans would always sit in the back of the bus, always behind the whites. There was even a sign the African Americans had to move that indicated where they were sitting. The whites sat in the front of the bus, and if a black person didn't give up their seat, they risked being fined and arrested.
The Great Depression
The Great Depression was when the stock market crashed around 1929 after economy was booming in the 1920s, causing people (rich people included) to lose money. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry takes place during the time of the Great Depression when cotton prices fell and conditions were harsh for blacks. With that, a three year drought began (the Dust Bowl) and Georgia's agricultural economy decreased. Becuase of this drought, dust storms were created and millions of people had to leave their homes. After the Great Depression, around 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and more and more people started to become homeless in America. This affected the characters in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry because Cassie's father has to leave his family to work on the railroad. He travels in order to find work so that he and his family can keep the land.