Roll of Thunder : Hear My Cry Portfolio Benjamin Yu - Period 4 - English 7 Honors

Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow Laws are laws against "Colored" americans. An example of a Jim Crow Law is African Americans had to pass several different tests to pass to be able to vote. Even if they did, the county sheriff checking identities for citizens, would not let them even vote, and jail them until voting day is over.

Another one of the Jim Crow Laws are that African Americans could not marry or have a relationship with white people at all. African Americans cannot flirt with white people. They cannot show any affection to white people. Any of these can have them lynched by white people.

Breaking Laws Like These Can End In The Lynching of The Crime Breaker.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression Was A Dark Time For The United States. The stock market crashed, and many people lost money and jobs. Most people became very poor, because of this. This time period was when African Americans were discrimited. With their recent discriminations, they African Americans receive more discrimination. White People make advantage of the situation and try to make the African Americans' lives worse. This would cause for extra discrimination towards African Americans.

Abolishment of Slavery

"On The first Day Of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State in rebellion against the United States, shall be forever free...." - Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation.

Slavery was once very common in the United States. Africans being pulled from their homes, and transfered to the United States for forced labor. “They also said that slavery was good for us because it taught us to be good Christians—like the white people.” She sighed deeply, her voice fading into a distant whisper. “But they didn’t teach us Christianity to save our souls, but to teach us obedience.” Excerpt From: Mildred D. Taylor. “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor Page: 126) This quote was from Mama to Cassie about how it was back then, how African Americans were treated as tools for labor. When Lincoln became president, The United States was divided, almost in the state of Civil War. The South decided to go independant from the United States. Lincoln went to war with the South, andunited the country, freeing the slaves in the process.

"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 once a very popular act amongst the white people of the South. People think themselves as the "enforcers" of the law, and lynch rulebreakers of the Jim Crow Laws, which are laws that African Americans have have to follow, like to never shake a hand with a white person, because it represents equality. Lynched people would most commonly be severly injured, along with the families with them at the time. White people would report any Jim Crow laws broken, and the lynchers would bring "law" down upon the rulebreakers. This is related to "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry", because the main conflict that the African Americans are facing is the threat of lynch by whites. “After we were on the main road again, having ridden in thoughtful silence over the wooded trail, Mama said quietly, “The Wallaces did that, children. They poured kerosene over Mr. Berry and his nephews and lit them afire. One of the nephews died, the other one is just like Mr. Berry.” ( Taylor 90 ). This quote showed how the Wallaces, and other white people burned the Berries for breaking the Jim Crow Laws.


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