Court Case of Emmitt Till
Emmitt was a kid from the north who went to the south visiting his family, but he made the mistake of talking to a white girl in a candy store. The boyfriend of the girl got mad and accused Emmitt of rape. Emmitt didn't rape the girl, but once he was put in prison, a mob was created and they lynched him. Emmitt's family accused the white mob of killing Emmitt, and it went to court. The jury was all white, and even though the evidence ran against the white boyfriend, he was found not guilty. After the funeral, the mother of Emmitt Till wanted to show the world what they had done to her kid- she said it was unjust and unfair.
Plessy V. Ferguson Court Case
Homer Plessy was an African American US member that had bought a first class ticket for a train ride from New Orleans to Covington, Louisiana. When he got on, Plessy went to sit in the best car on the train, which was a car reserved for white people. There was an open seat, but the conductor came to his seat and told him to leave. When Plessy refused to get up he was arrested and later brought to court. Plessy went to court against the state and was found guilty of violating the Separate Car Act. Judge John Ferguson found him guilty even though Plessy tried proving that this was against the 13th and 14th Amendments. Plessy appealed and the case went to the Supreme Court, where it was decided that Ferguson's decision was the right one. Plessy was sentenced to pay a 25$ fine. One main reason for this was that the judges were all white, and they sided with the state of Louisiana even though Homer Plessy did nothing wrong. They voted angst Plessy with a 7-1 advantage.
Union City Lynching
A young lady was in her bedroom when a black man stormed in and clutched her neck. She was able to fight him off, and she even left some evident scratches on his face. He fled, but the day after, the police used bloodhounds to track down an African American man with scratches on his face. The lady said she recognized him as the one that had assaulted her the day before. He was put in jail with no further discussions. A few days later, a mob created outside the jail and was able to break in to get the man. That gang lynched the man, but there were no repercussions. The man that was lynched that day ended up being a 20-year old high school graduate who knew the family of the girl who was attacked, but he didn't kill her.
Because the African Americans previously were slaves, many of them were poor and went to work for white people; the white people would not pay them justly and African Americans remained poor.
Story of Thomas Chatmon
Thomas Chatmon and his father were poor black sharecroppers that worked for a white landowner named Mr. Thomas. They had worked all year in his cotton, tobacco, corn, and peanut fields. At the end of the season when all the harvest was picked and sold, the Chatmons went to Mr. Thomas's house to get their year earnings. Mr. Thomas sent them away saying they wouldn't get any money because of what they had bought from him. Thomas Chatmon, though, kept a record of everything they owed this man, and they should have gotten their money. Even though a cold winter was ahead, this man didn't bother helping this poor family. On the way back home, Thomas's father cried, for he couldn't afford anything for his child anymore.
Story of Olivia Cherry
Olivia was a black woman during Jim Crow who went and worked for a white landowner. Her landowner treated her like a slave, and kept calling her Suzy. Olivia knew he did this because it made him feel like if he owned her and could make her o anything. Olivia ignored him every time he did this, but after a while this was happenening every day. The landowner would get mad at Olivia because she wouldn't listen, but Olivia just told him to call her by her given name. After many events similar to this, the landowner got tired of Olivia not listening to him, so he fired her. Olivia was all right with this, because she didn't want to feel like a slave. But when Olivia went to collect her money from the time she had worked, he would give her only half of what she had actually earned. After Olivia argued to get the right amount, the landowner kicked her off his property and into the highway. Olivia called for her friends to stop working for that man, and her friends came with her. They all weren't payed right for the work they had done, and they all walked home on the highway.
Economic Status By Race
This chart shows the difference in income between the white people and black people during Jim Crow. Both of these groups were facing an economic struggle, since these were times in the middle of the Great Depression. Approximately 40% of white workers made less than $1000, while around 60% made more than $1000. Approximately 85% of black workers made less than $1000, while around 15% made more than $1000. During the same year, a black worker and a white worker that had the same job would probably have different incomes. This shows how unjustly people of that time were paid, and how based on your race your income changes. One of the factors that plays a major role in this is because company owners and landowners were mostly white, and they had a bias on who to give less money to. They would hire black people for cheaper, since they believed that a white man was able to work better than a black man. Because of this, black people were affected harshly, and they remained poor.
Because of the various representations of black people being inferior to whites, many people started taking racist portrayals for granted.
Tom and Jerry in "Plane Dumb"
Racist cartoons were very popular, and the characters would make fun of blacks' ways of acting. In this specific cartoon of Tom and Jerry, the two characters are flying to Africa. They believe they wouldn't be accepted since they're white, so they color themselves black. Once they do this, they start acting stupid, and they crash their plane. They go on adventures and keep making a fool of themselves because they're black. Many cartoons at the time had this idea of when you're black, you are clumsy and dumb. Many people found this very entertaining, and seeing it every day made them stop viewing as racism. For white folks it may have been funny, but for black people this must have been self-demoralizing.
Minstrel shows were a very common form of entertainment for white people. White actors would dress up and color their faces, such that they would look like black people. They would mess up their face features and highlight stereotypes of how blacks looked. These actors would then make a fool of themselves, so that they could show that black people were clumsy and lazy. These shows were extremely racist, but they would be played every day. In the 19th and 20th centuries these shows substituted opera and formal art. Many of these shows were played at schools, public facilities, and even on TV. After a while of seeing these shows every day, people stooped viewing them as racist, and saw it only as a way of entertainment. Many people believed that blacks were inferior, so seeing them act clumsily made them laugh. Even white actors would stop seeing this as racist, but do it to for popularity and entertainment. Even though white actors and audience viewed these shows as very fun, almost all black people were hurt and saddened by these.