Jim Crow By Patrick Hurton

Politics in the Jim Crow Era

In the Jim Crow Era, white politicians made black voters pay Poll Taxes when they went to vote. One website said, "Denying black men the right to vote through legal maneuvering and violence was a first step in taking away their civil rights. Beginning in the 1890s, southern states enacted literacy tests, poll taxes, elaborate registration systems, and eventually whites-only Democratic Party primaries to exclude black voters. The laws proved very effective. In Mississippi, fewer than 9,000 of the 147,000 voting-age African Americans were registered after 1890. In Louisiana, where more than 130,000 black voters had been registered in 1896, the number had plummeted to 1,342 by 1904."

This is picture of a poll reciept.

In the Jim Crow Era, a law was put into place that said if your grandfather could not vote you couldn't vote. This was called Grandfather Clauses. One website said, "The Grandfather Clause was a statute enacted by many American southern states in the wake of Reconstruction (1865-1877) that allowed potential white voters to circumvent literacy tests, poll taxes, and other tactics designed to disenfranchise southern blacks."

Another law that was put into affect during the Jim Crow Era was Literacy Tests. One website said, "From the 1890s to the 1960s, many state governments in the Southern United States administered literacy tests to prospective voters purportedly to test their literacy in order to vote. In practice, these tests were intended to disenfranchise racial minorities. Southern state legislatures employed literacy tests as part of the voter registration process starting in the late 19th century. Literacy tests, along with poll taxes and extra-legal intimidation, were used to deny suffrage to African Americans."

This is an example of a literacy test.

Economic's in Jim Crow

During the Jim Crow Era, many African Americans relied on Agriculture to make money. One website said, "The economy of the Southern States during the era of Jim Crow was primarily based on agriculture. While the majority of Southern blacks worked in agriculture as sharecroppers and tenant farmers, others sought work in the cities of the South and North, including a small but influential black middle class. In this unit students examine the economics of Jim Crow, how Jim Crow laws sustained black economic dependency, and why the rise of a black middle class challenged white supremacy. As a culminating activity, students devise an “Economic Bill of Rights” for African Americans in three eras: 1865, 1895 and 1940."

This is a document on Agriculture.

Sharecroping is another word for slavery. When Slavery became illegal African Americans did not have enough money to support themselves so they took loans from people to support their farms. One website said, "Many former slaves expected the federal government to give them a certain amount of land as compensation for all the work they had done during the slavery era. Union General William T. Sherman had encouraged this expectation in early 1865 by granting a number of freed men 40 acres each of the abandoned land left in the wake of his army. During Reconstruction, however, the conflict over labor resulted in the sharecropping system, in which black families would rent small plots of land in return for a portion of their crop, to be given to the landowner at the end of each year

The Great Depression effected all Americans but African Americans were among the worst group of people effected. Many had hard lives and lived on the streets. One website said, "The Great Depression of the 1930s was catastrophic for all workers. But as usual, Blacks suffered worse, pushed out of unskilled jobs previously scorned by whites before the depression. Blacks faced unemployment of 50 percent or more, compared with about 30 percent for whites. Black wages were at least 30 percent below those of white workers, who themselves were barely at subsistence level."

Social/Cultural during Jim Crow

In the South, Lynchings became common among African Americans. One website said, "Between the years 1877 and 1950, 3,959 lynching of black men, women and children took place in 12 states of the American South, according to a study by the Equal Justice Initiative released last week. The data, based on five years of research in archives and on interviews with survivors and historians, reveals the extent of the racist terror that ruled in the American South for nearly three quarters of a century—between Reconstruction, the period after the American Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s."

During Jim Crow, African Americans had to follow certain rules called Jim Crow Etiquette. One website said, "Most southern white Americans who grew up prior to 1954 expected black Americans to conduct themselves according to well-understood rituals of behavior. This racial etiquette governed the actions, manners, attitudes, and words of all black people when in the presence of whites. To violate this racial etiquette placed one's very life, and the lives of one's family, at risk.

This is a sign used to segregate bathrooms.

Another form of racism during the Jim Crow Era was Advertising Cards. One website said, "Insulting racial stereotypes were common in American society. They reinforced discriminatory customs and laws that oppressed Americans of many racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds." The cigarette holder and early 20th-century advertising cards depict common stereotypes of African Americans, Chinese Americans, Jews, and Irish Americans

This card was used to dehumanize African Americans by making fun of how they talk and look.

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