Roll of Thunder: Portfolio Julianna ConkliN. (Period:6)

Jim Crow Laws

Voting laws

To stop the Jim Crow laws from continuing, there had to be enough votes. The only problem was that they made it very hard for colored men and women to do so, since they didn't want everyone to have equal rights. They gave white citizens easy tests to vote, but the colored people much more difficult ones, which were almost impossible. If they were able to pass the test, they had to pay and fee, which most colored citizens did not have the money to do so. After paying the fee, they would have to talk to the man in charge. The only problem with that was that he was usually located far away. So, since the colored citizens didn't usually have cars, it was very difficult for them to get there. The very few who were able to vote, usually died before the time to vote actually came.


With the Jim Crow laws, black and white schools were separated. The colored children were schooled in a very beat down shack, or small house, with no tables. There were only benches to sit on and many children were squished into the small classroom. As for the schooling, there were rarely any books for the students. As for the white children, they got huge, well- maintained schools that could hold many students per classroom. Inside each classroom, there were individual chairs and tables for each student. To get to school, the colored children usually had to walk to school , whereas the white children had a sort of bus to drive to and from school.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression occurred in the 1920's and it was a very rough time for the people. It began when the stock market crashed in 1929. The conditions were much harsher for the blacks because many were forced off of their lands. This was because of the declining prices and their lack of money. After the stock market crash, the largest drought recorded, in 1931, made it even harder to get water and grow crops. The Great Depression just kept on getting worse and worse, since there was no running water or electricity in a normal farm house. This affected many of the black people in Roll of Thunder because most of them got their money from growing crops and farming. So, when the drought hit, not only did they have trouble growing crops, but they got less money for those crops.

In these pictures, you see many people trying to get some water, a mother struggling to get her children fed, a farmer during the Great Depression, homeless families who made shacks after they lose their job, and the lack of food being farmed on a farm.

Abolishment of Slavery

When all of the black citizens were finally declared to be free from all slavery, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech. He called upon the people, declaring that the people were 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." Though even through this was said, it was still difficult for the black people. They were still punished heavily for the smallest things, along with unfair rights. Even in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mama told Cassie, "Because he's one of those people who has to believe that white people are better than black people to make himself feel big." (Taylor 127).

"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 when people kill other people without a trial. This is done with a rope tied around someone's neck. Either if you broke or didn't listen to the Jim Crow Laws, and you were black, you would almost definitely be lynched. Though, a lot of the time, black people were lynched for doing the slightest wrongdoing or not listening nor agreeing to what the white people said. In Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, T.J was falsely accused for stealing the pearl handled pistol and the money, along with hurting the Barnett's. Because he was black, a huge mob of white people came and pulled him out of his house, nearly killing him. By the end of the story, it explained that T.J, a young boy, may be put on the chain gang or lynched. Stacey even had to worry when he asked Papa, "'Papa, could he... could he die?'"


Created with images by WikiImages - "racial segregation racism black" • buckle1535 - "Great Depression" • WikiImages - "woman children florence thompson" • dcandau - "lincoln memorial statue washington dc"

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