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Documentary Sections
Bitter Times  |   Danger, Violence, Exploitation  |   "Behind the Veil"  |  
Keeping the Past  |   Resistance  |   Whites Remember Jim Crow  |  

Bitter Times

Jim Crow ruled the South from about 1890 to well into the 1960s. Four generations of African Americas endured this system of segregation. Present day race relations in the United States continue to be affected by this history. The Jim Crow system emerged towards the end of the historical period called Reconstruction, during which Congress had enacted laws designed to order relations between Southern whites and newly freed blacks, and to bring the secessionist states back into the Union. Southern whites felt profoundly threatened by increasing claims by African Americans for social equality and economic opportunity. In reaction, white-controlled state legislatures passed laws designed to rob blacks of their civil rights and prevent blacks from mingling with their "betters" in public places.

Interview Excerpts
(Real Audio, How to Listen)
Who was Jim Crow? Leon Litwack, 1:36
Song: Jump Jim Crow Bob Ekstrand, 2:05
Black People's Day Charles Gratton, Ann Pointer, Amelia Robinson, 1:44
Negroes don't drive Cadillacs Wilhemina Baldwin, 6:18
Get Off the Sidewalk Charles Gratton, 2:17
Sharecropping Amelia Robinson & Thomas Chatmon, 1:59

All railroad companies are hereby required to provide separate cars or coaches for the travel and transportation of the white and colored passengers.
—Maryland Law  |  More Laws


Amelia RobinsonSLIDESHOW
Amelia Robinson
Family album of a civil rights pioneer.
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