Roll of Thunder Portfolio Georgia Axiotis Period 4

Jim Crow Laws


As stated in the Jim Crow laws in Florida, when it came to education in the Jim Crow times, "The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately". Because of this law (which was in more areas than just Florida) for those of African descent during the Jim Crow times, a separate school from white children was provided. It was also unlawful for a colored person to attend a white school as it was for a white person to attend a colored school.


In Florida during Jim Crow, a law stated "All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the fourth generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited". This law was not just in Florida but in other states and it forbade the marriage of a white person and a colored person. Marriages that were against this law were titled void and even marriages between a white and a person having one-eighth part or more of African American blood were void. Illegal marriages also included marriages between white people and mulattos, Mongolians, or Malaya's.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression can be traced to the stock market crash of Tuesday, October 29, 1929 or "Black Tuesday". The Great Depression affected the South and the state of Georgia the most and during the 1920's many people invested in the stock market hoping for high returns but problems in the economy led to the sudden decrease in stock values. The stock market crash immediately effected people by ruining their investments but also led to a banking crisis where nearly half of the banks in the country failed and money was lost. During the Great Depression, around 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and the country's industrial production dropped. There was also a drought during the Great Depression and the dust bowl was the title given to the Great Plains region of America which was devastated by the drought. Dust storms and winds also hurt the soil in agricultural areas. In Roll of Thunder, the Great Depression made it hard for Cassie's dad to find a job and all of the kids at Cassie's school have dirty, worn clothes because of low amounts of money. Also because of the Great Depression, in Roll of Thunder, the school has really old and worn books.

In these pictures, you see unemployed people living in huts, families getting food at soup kitchen-like place, a devastated farmer, an unemployment march, and kids at a school getting a slice of bread and soup.

Abolishment of Slavery

The end of slavery for African Americans meant more than anything else, freedom. The abolishment of slavery set all slaves free and gave them free access to serving in the military. The freedoms given to African Americans changed their lives for the better because even though some people would still hold onto old ways, they personally were helped because they could chose where they want to work, where they want to live, where they want to go, and when they want to do it because Abraham Lincoln stated, "all persons held as slaves within any state in rebellion against the United States, shall be forever free." Although the abolishment of slavery helped African Americans very much, as I said before, some people still greatly looked down upon African Americans because of what they use to be and as Mama said to Cassie in Roll Of Thunder: Hear My Cry, "There were some white people who thought it was wrong for any people to be slaves; so the people who needed slaves to work in their fields and the people who were making money bringing slaves from Africa preached that black people weren't really people like white people were, so slavery was alright." (Taylor 215-216). Lastly, for African Americans, the end of slavery meant a chance for them and their children to make a change in the world and become what they want because they were no longer tied down.

Abraham Lincoln

"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


When one is lynched, they are killed without fair trial. This often happened to African Americans in the South who resisted the Jim Crow Laws. The punishment on lynching came even to African Americans who did little to nothing wrong. Some ways of breaking the Jim Crow laws could have included an African American shaking the hand of a white person, not taking off their hat in the presence of a white person, or not getting off of the sidewalk while a white person was walking on it. In the book, Roll Of Thunder, Mr. Morrison's family (who did nothing wrong) was burned (or lynched) when two African American boys who were most likely innocent but were accused of breaking a Jim Crow law, hid in their house. Mr. Morrison described this event in Roll of Thunder as they, “Burst in on us with their Rebel sabers, hacking and killing, burning us out. Didn’t care who they kilt.” (Taylor 258).


Created with images by tpsdave - "alabama farm cotton" • umezy12 - "Classroom" • rogerp64 - "wedding flowers bouquet roses" • buckle1535 - "Great Depression" • Tony Fischer Photography - "Come, Sit, Tell Me About America... (#1 of 2 - a set)"

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