The Strange Career Of Jim Crow

1126 Words5 Pages
Who Are We, What Do We Believe Racism has jumped to the forefront of conversation politically as well as socially recently. However, many fail to see the full extent of racism and the harmful effects it has had in American history. Post civil war brought a realization to the nation, that although now free, blacks, Indians and mixed descendants or mulatto’s were considered a lower class and Jim Crow Laws help cement them in this class of society. These laws, many referenced post Civil War, have origins dating pre Civil War as well. In 1835, “North Carolina passed a new constitution, which declared that ‘free Negroes, free mulattos, and free persons of mixed blood’ could not vote.” This de facto movement not only affected the lives of African Americans but also immigrants, Catholics, Jews and other groups of people. The Strange Career of Jim Crow, written by C. Vann Woodward, is a book that takes the reader back in time, through the period of the Jim Crow laws. These laws were in effect between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow laws were much more than laws. They were America’s sentiment towards all people other than Anglo-Saxon. A piece of an article from Ferris State University gives a great depiction of what the Jim Crow system was: The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be use... ... middle of paper ... ...Sadly, racism still exists. A large amount of that racism is from the blacks. The divide exists almost everywhere, from general attitudes to housing neighborhoods. Blacks today still see whites as how they were in the past. Though the Northern whites treated the blacks better than the Southerners, overall most white people did not treat blacks fairly. C. Vann Woodward does an excellent job telling and educating on the Jim Crow system in his book The Strange Career of Jim Crow. He uses many different resources, such as newspaper articles and court cases to give a well-rounded vision of what life during the career of Jim Crow was like. The book used several history and political terms that would make it difficult for someone new to history education to understand. Overall, The Strange Career of Jim Crow is a great book to learn of the truths of the Jim Crow system.
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