Roll Of Thunder Portfolio Katie Phan Period 4

Jim Crow's Laws

Segregated schools

Segregated schools caused "colored" people to go to another school. The "white" people had a fancy school. Meanwhile, the "colored" people had a ratty school. The "colored" people basically were forced to walk. When they were walking, buses would pass and purposely get them dirty. By doing this, the "white" people received the joy of creating pain for the "colored".

Segregated Water Fountains and Busses

Segregated water fountains caused "colored" people to have to drink out of separate water fountains. Segregated busses caused "colored" people to have to sit in the back. Sometimes, they were able to sit in the front until the "white" people came. When they had to move, they had to move the sign above them. This sign marked the "colored" people's section. This is another way negros were in minority.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a time where the stock market crashed in period of 1929-1939. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investments had dropped. The number of unemployed men and women increased as failing companies fired many people. Many Americans forced to buy on credit fell into debt. For people who were lucky enough to keep their jobs, wages fell and power decreased. During this time, there were many hobos, people who had to ride train to train to find a job. This ties into Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry because the book takes place during that time period. This is shown when it talks about the dad having to go out of town numerous times to find a job.

Abolishment of Slavery

The end of slavery meant freedom for African Americans. This meant that they would no longer be hurt by "whites". This is proved when President Lincoln said in the Emancipation Proclamation, "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." Though they thought they were equal, the "white" people didn't see them this way. In Roll of a Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mama proved this to us when she was talking to Cassie and told her, "“And when the Civil War was fought and Mama Rachel and Papa Luke and all the other slaves were freed, people continued to think that way. Even the Northerners who fought the war didn’t really see us equal to white people. So now, even though seventy years have passed since slavery, most white people still think of us as they did then—that we’re not as good as they are—and people like Mr. Simms hold on to that belief harder than some other folks because they have little else to hold on to. For him to believe that he is better than we are makes him think that he’s important, simply because he’s white.” (Taylor 127-128) This shows us that "white" people are mean because it gives them power, but to African Americans it doesn't matter because they see them everyone as an equal.

"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 a punishing a person without giving that person that committed a crime a fair trial. Lynching was common in the south during the Great Depression and the time of Jim Crow Laws. One example is in Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry. This happens to Mr. Tatum because he said that Mr. Barnett had charged him for things he had not bought. The night men tarred and feathered him because of this. The following quote shows the lynching of Mr. Tatum. “Tarred and feathered him!” T.J. announced hastily. “Poured the blackest tar they could find all over him, then plastered him with chicken feathers.” T.J. laughed. “Can you imagine that?” “But why?” asked Little Man, forgetting our ploy. This time T.J. did not slow down. “I dunno if y’all’s little ears should hear this, but it seems he called Mr. Jim Lee Barnett a liar—he’s the man who runs the Mercantile down in Strawberry. Mr. Tatum’s s’pose to done told him that he ain’t ordered up all them things Mr. Barnett done charged him for. Mr. Barnett said he had all them things Mr. Tatum ordered writ down and when Mr. Tatum asked to see that list of his, Mr. Barnett says, ‘You callin’ me a liar, boy?’ And Mr. Tatum says, ‘Yessuh, I guess I is!’ That done it!” (Taylor 74-75).


Created with images by Mamyoung - "cotton field tn" • ell brown - "Black Country Living Museum - St James's School - benches / desks" • Tony Fischer Photography - "The Causes of The Great Depression / FDR Memorial Site" • skeeze - "dust cloud vintage retro" • buckle1535 - "Great Depression" • illustir - "Stock Crash with Bid & Ask" • Fæ - "Hobo sitting on a fence, ca.1920 (CHS-1428)" • RinzeWind - "La Humanidad ha cambiado"

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