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Keeping On

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From Behind the Veil


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

Communities "Behind the Veil"

The writer, scholar and activist, W.E.B. Du Bois described blacks as living "behind the veil" during Jim Crow. The metaphor described a vibrant social and political system developed by African Americans to bear the hardships of segregation and prejudice, behind which they remained largely invisible — and thereby unthreatening — to whites. Exclusion from white society forced blacks to build their own social institutions — churches, schools, social clubs — which were vital to fighting segregation, improving black economic conditions and generally "uplifting" the race.

Interview Excerpts
(Real Audio, How to Listen)
Black Neighborhoods George Butterfield, 7:58
Protective Parents Wilhelmina Baldwin, 1:13
Go on and Vote George Butterfield, 2:47

All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or under the same license.
—Georgia Law  |  More Laws

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