Roll of Thunder Portfolio Dimitri McLain Period 4 English 7H

Jim Crow Laws


Jim Crow laws prohibbited black people and white people from attending school in the same room. According to the Jim Crow Laws - Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Site Georgia, "Separate schools shall be maintained for the children of the white and colored races." If a negro man or woman was to go to a white school they could be punished or even lynched.


One Jim Crow Law kept books from being interchangeable between white and colored schools. According to the Jim Crow Laws - Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Site Georgia, "Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them." If this law was broken, there would be consequences (could end in death.)

The Great Depression

The Great Depression was an economic depression which occurred in the Untied States after the stock market crashed in 1929. Many people lost their jobs due to unemployment. The huge amount of unemployment occurred because failing companies laid off so many workers/employees. They did not have enough money to pay everyone, so therefor had to get rid of people. Another contributing factor to The Great Depression, includes the failing banks. Almost half of the United States' banks failed. The Great Depression affected many people, including African Americans. Many black people were forced off their land because of the declining prices. Very few African Americans were able to keep their land. The Logans, from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, were fortunate enough to own their own land. They were able to make more money then most black people because they had their own land to farm and their own cotton to sell.

Unemployment, failing banks and companies, stock market crashing, and black people getting kicked off their land were all thing that were part of/ contributers to The Great Depression.

Abolishment of Slavery

The end of slavery was a joyous time for African Americans, although not everybody accepted this change. Abraham Lincoln said that not everybody accepted this change in The Emancipation Proclamation, "Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States. . . do order and designate the following States as being in rebellion: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia." African Americans were still treated poorly and unfairly by most people, especially in the South despite The Emancipation Procalamtio. For example, in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, "Mr. Barnett again picked up T.J.’s list, but before he had gotten the next item his wife called, “Jim Lee, these folks needing help over here and I got my hands full.” And as if we were not even there, he walked away." (Taylor 167). Black people were continuously treated as a lesser species. Eventually, after many years, life got better for African Americans and they are now treated as equal by most people in the U.S.

"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 murder by hanging. Today, lynching is illegal but back when the Jim Crow laws were in force, lynching was a punishment for crimes (which heappened to African Americans.) Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry takes place in the time period when a lot of lynching happened. Papa said, “If I don’t, they’ll hang T.J. This thing’s been coming a long time, baby, and T.J. just happened to be the one foolish enough to trigger it..." (Taylor 368). A bunch of white men wanted to hang T.J. rather than let him go to jail. This wasn't the first time something like this had happened and definitely wasn't the last.


Presentation by Dimitri :) Created with images by Mamyoung - "cotton field tn" • Hermann - "books education school" • Wystan - "Daniel Haas, in his Ann Arbor, Michigan, grocery store, 114 West Liberty Street -- 1930s? 1940s?" • JeepersMedia - "Bank of America" • Tax Credits - "Stock Market" • Dyl86 - "unemployment"

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