Roll of Thunder Portfolio Erin Oreta period 2

Jim Crow Laws


A black person could not shake hands with a white person. This is because it is a sign of equality, and in these times, the white people assume that they are superior. A black male can't offer any body parts (such as the hand) to a white female because he would most likely be accused of rape.


The Jim Crow laws made it hard for black people to vote. The black person would have to take a poll test. If they pass, they would have to pay taxes.The white people make it hard to find transportation even if they paid. When the black person evetually finds transportation, the sheriff would never let them vote.

The Great Depression

The setting in Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry is during the Great Depression. The Great Depression occurred in the 1920s to the 1930s. When stock markets crashed, causing many of the Americans to lose their jobs. Work was difficult to find and to make matters worse, there was a severe drought. This made it difficult to farm and caused big dust storms to occur in the middle of the country. This event of dust storms was called the Dust Bowl. In Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, Papa has to go to Louisiana to find a job, which is far from his home and family who live in Mississippi.

These pictures show a lady trying to sell candy to children, a farmer in despair, corn stocks, schoolchildren in line for food, and homes for the unemployed.

Abolishment of Slavery

On January 1st, 1863,Abraham Lincoln made the Emancipation Proclamation, which proclaimed that all the black people from slavery was free. He clearly states "And I hereby call upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages." (Emancipation Proclamation). Even after this was made, the white people still treat the black people badly. In Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, Mama talks to Cassie about slavery and life afterword. “Well, after a while, slavery became so profitable to people who had slaves and even to those who didn’t that most folks decided to believe that black people really weren’t people like everybody else.” (Taylor, 208)

"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 being punished without a fair trial. White people would often think that black people don't deserve a fair trial, that they could just go around and punish them for no reason. The Logans are affect by this. T.J gets lynched because R.W and Melvin betray him by telling the police about him killing the Barnetts when it was actually them.The sheriff states, “Mr. Granger sent word by me that he ain’t gonna stand for no hanging on his place. He say y’all touch one hair on that boy’s head while he on this land, he’s gonna hold every man here responsible.” (Taylor 395).


Created with images by Andrea Pokrzywinski - "Cotton Grass Field" • Sean McMenemy - "VOTE" • dcandau - "lincoln memorial statue washington dc"

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