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SLIDESHOW (will open in new window) Fear and Struggle

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

Danger, Violence, Exploitation

Life in the Jim Crow South was often dangerous for African Americans. Lynchings and white mob violence provoked real fear in black communities. For many Southern blacks, other hazards menaced their daily lives. A white employer might try to take sexual advantage of his black maid, a white landowner might cheat his or her black tenant farmers, a white shopkeeper might insult a black customer in front of others. The prospect of humiliation by whites was a constant source of anxiety. It was meant to be: white Southerners reacted swiftly against blacks they perceived were "getting uppity"—that is, actively trying to get ahead in life, or asserting themselves in front of whites.

Interview Excerpts
(Real Audio, How to Listen)
Big House/Little House Ann Pointer & Otis Pinkard, 1:06
Mortgage Swindle Cornelius Speed, 9:55
Wrongly Accused Walter M. Cavers, 3:20
Voting Problems Maurice Lucas, 2:53
Mob Attack Ann Pointer, 2:34

All marriages of white persons with Negroes, Mulattos, Mongolians, or Malaya hereafter contracted in the State of Wyoming are, and shall be, illegal and void.
—Wyoming Law  |  More Laws

Ann Pointer
Lifelong resident, Macon County AL.

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