Analysis of the Strange Career of Jim Crow

940 WordsSep 14, 20084 Pages
Some critics say that C. V. Woodward’s novel “The Strange Career of Jim Crow” was simply a book about racism. Other critics also attack his style of writing in this very popular novel. However, I believe that Woodward’s novel is not just a book about racism. It is a book about history. I believe it is a book about race relations, not racism. Woodward shatters the stereotypical view of segregation through chronicling the history of America from reconstruction through the late 1960’s. The Strange Career of Jim Crow is not simply a book about racism. I believe it is a book about history and race relations. In spite of the way we would like to think of America, its history is one that is littered with various forms of racism. This…show more content…
He demonstrates that Northern Republicans, Southern Conservatives and Southern Radicals all had reasons to court black citizens. With blacks being given the right to vote, the parties had to appeal to blacks also in order to win elections. The Southern Conservative view was one that I found particularly interesting and disturbing. Woodward says that Southern Conservatives believed that in every society existed a superior and inferior. Woodward quotes an 1885 Charleston paper saying that “It is a great deal pleasanter to travel with respectable and well-behaved colored people that than with unmannerly and ruffianly white men” (49). This mentality makes it an issue of class not race. If this were the case, then this is still in issue today for many reasons. If believers of the conservative view do indeed still exist, the segregation that affected blacks during this time period could affect any other race that falls into a category of inferior in the eyes of the majority. C. Vann Woodward’s novel “The Strange Career of Jim Crow” was not simply a book about segregation and racism. After reading the book, I found that it was a book about race relations and history that challenges what is generally thought about the characteristics of this time period. Woodward was a very notable southern historian. What do historians write about if it is not history? Even though this novel does include a lot about racism and segregation, I do not think

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