Jim Crow Essay

705 Words Nov 5th, 2011 3 Pages
Fall 2010
Term Paper The Strange Career of Jim Crow by Van Woodward is based on the time period surrounding the Civil Rights Movement. This book is an accurate account of events that occurred during this time. It shows how the 1896 US Supreme Court Ruling affected blacks and the obstacles they faced to overcome. This book shows how the rights of African Americans have evolved over time. Van Woodward did an excellent job illustrating the events of history with The Strange Career of Jim Crow and created a factual account of history that is still used in classrooms today. The historical context in which this book was written surrounds the events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. There were several influential legal
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referred to this book by Van Woodward as “the historical bible of the civil rights movement” because it spoke about the difficulties of race relations and brought attention to what blacks went through to get to where they are today. Martin Luther King Jr. was a respected figure and had a dream for equality among blacks and whites. King liked the message that this book provided. Van Woodward writes “striking incongruities appeared between the needs and moods of the black ghetto and the goals and strategies of the civil rights crusade, as typified by the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr., and voiced in his lyrical dream” (Van Woodward, 193). In 1896, the court case of Plessy vs. Ferguson ruled that the states had the right to legally segregate public facilities. This court ruling fueled the fire of Southerners in regards to race relations, leading to the Jim Crow laws. These laws went as far as to say blacks could not cut a white person’s hair, drink from the same water fountain as a white person, and established a test for blacks to take prior to getting a ballot. The Strange Career of Jim Crow is a book that opens reader’s eyes to obstacles that black people faced during this period of time. Van Woodward does an excellent job in this book illustrating history. He provides factual and vivid examples of the racism that blacks faced in their fight for equality. It is obvious that this is a well written book in that it is still being published

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