The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Vann Woodward

1063 Words5 Pages
C. Vann Woodward wrote The Strange Career of Jim Crow for a purpose. His purpose was to enlighten people about the history of the Jim Crow laws in the South. Martin Luther King Jr. called Woodward’s book, “the historical Bible of the civil rights movement.” (221) Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote revealed the true importance of Woodward’s book. Woodard’s book significance was based on it revealing the strange, forgotten facets of the Jim Crow laws. Assumptions about the Jim Crow’s career have existed since its creation. Woodward tried to eliminate the false theories as he attempted to uncover the truths. Woodward argued the strangest aspects of Jim Crow’s career were, it was a recent innovation and not created in the South Assumptions from…show more content…
A Negro leader living in Boston, made it quite clear where the laws came from, “it is five times as hard to get a house in a good location in Boston as in Philadelphia, and it is ten times as difficult for a colored mechanic to get work here as in Charleston.” (19) His dilemma exhibited how a Negro man figured life in the South might be superior to the North. He made this statement in 1860. In 1860, the South was pushing through the process of Reconstruction. The Negro leader’s statement shocked those who believed the North was where freedom reigned. The Negro leader might have a different view of the North though, when the federal troops left the South in 1877. Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson believed this to be true when he went to evaluate the South and its racial relations after the troops left. His findings, however, left him astounded. Colonel Higginson found the South apparently better in race relations than his home in New England. His report of his findings was telling, “How can we ask more of the States formerly in rebellion,’ he demanded, ‘than that they should abreast of New England in granting rights and privileges to the colored race?” (36) His inquiry hit home to the Northern region of the United States. He asked his fellow Northerners how they could question Southerners when the North was struggling worse with blacks. The Colonel went six years later to review his findings and found no reason to change his original
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