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Discrimination in America

With nearly one-fifth of the population African-American and in the South, the difficulties of integration and inclusion were extreme. After Reconstruction, states in the South restricted opportunities with laws that kept races separate in public facilities and allowed few non-whites to vote, and condoned violence (lynching). By 1913, there were anti-miscegenation laws prohibiting the marriages of white and “Negro” (and often other races) in 30 of the 48 states, especially in the South and West. African-American leaders differed on strategy. Booker T. Washington urged an outward show of compromise; W. E. B. Du Bois urged protest; Marcus Garvey wanted racial solidarity and all-black organizations. The War accelerated migration north to the major cities; widespread prejudice limited residential areas which became the 'ghetto'; intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance forged new artistic experiments.

  1. Why did traditional/customary discrimination against African Americans take legislative form as Jim Crow segregation in the South?
  2. How did African Americans respond to more restricted opportunities—'accommodation' (Washington), protest (DuBois) and/or separation (Garvey)?
  3. How did migration to the North enrich African-American culture between the wars?
  4. Why was Jim Crow culture able to take hold of US society?


Figting Miscegenation Article, Cayton's Weekly

Leslie Brown and Anne Valk, Living with Jim Crow: African-American Women and Memories of the Segregated South (2010) , pp.17-51. [Ebook]

Key Texts

Cherene Sherrard Johnson (ed.) , A Companion to the Harlen Renaissance (2015)

Du Bois, W.E.B, The Souls of Black Folks

Grant,Robert B. The Black man comes to the city : a documentary account from the great migration to the great depression, 1915 to 1930

Larsen, Nella, Quicksand and Passing

Brown, Leslie Living with Jim Crow [electronic resource] : African American women and memories of the segregated South

Dailey, Jane Jumpin' Jim Crow : southern politics from Civil War to civil rights

Dossett, Catherine Maria Culture and politics in the Harlem Renaissance

Flamming, Douglas Bound for freedom : Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America

Greenberg, Cheryl Lynn Or does it explode? : Black Harlem in the great depression

Grossman, James R. Land of hope : Chicago, black Southerners and the great migration

Johnson, Kimberly Reforming Jim Crow [electronic resource] : Southern politics and state in the age before Brown

Logan, Rayford W. W. E. B. Du Bois: a profile

McGuire, Phillip Taps for a Jim Crow army : letters from black soldiers in World War II

McMillen, Neil R. Dark journey : black Mississippians in the age of Jim Crow

Sandberg, Carl The Chicago race riots, July, 1919

Shaw, Stephanie J. What a woman ought to be and to do [electronic resource] : Black professional women workers during the Jim Crow era

Smith, Graham When Jim Crow met John Bull : black American soldiers in World War II Britain

Smock, Raymond W. Booker T. Washington : Black leadership in the age of Jim Crow

Stein, Judith, The world of Marcus Garvey : race and class in modern society

Tuck, Stephen We ain't what we ought to be : the Black freedom struggle, from emancipation to Obama

Turner, Elizabeth Hayes Women and gender in the new South : 1865-1945

Woodward, C. Vann The strange career of Jim Crow

Zangrando, Robert L. The NAACP crusade against lynching, 1909-1950