Presentation on theme: "TKAM Background. Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system that operated in the southern states between 1877 and the mid 1960’s. Under Jim."— Presentation transcript:
Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system that operated in the southern states between 1877 and the mid 1960’s. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were referred to as second-class citizens Many Christian Ministers taught that whites were the chosen people, blacks were cursed to be servants, and that God supported segregation.
Whites were superior to blacks in important ways. Sexual relations between whites and blacks would produce a mongrel race that would destroy America. Violence must be used to keep blacks at the bottom of the hierarchy.
A rest stop for bus passengers on the way from Louisville, Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee, with separate entrance for Blacks. 1943.
A black male could not shake hands with a white male because that would mean that they are socially equal. A black male could not touch any part of a white female (even if she was in danger) because he would risk being accused of rape. Blacks and whites could not eat together. If they were in the same restaurant, whites must be served first. A black male could never offer a light to a white female, this implied intimacy.
Blacks could not show affection to one another in public because it offended whites. Blacks were always introduced to whites, never the opposite. Whites did not use Mr., Mrs., Miss, Sir, or Ma’am, when referring to black people; they were called by their first name. Blacks must use courtesy titles when referring to whites. If a black person rode in a car with a white person, they must sit in the back. White motorist had the right of way at all intersections.
Never say that a white person is lying Never suggest that a white person is inferior Never curse a white person Never laugh at a white person Never comment on the appearance of white female
Movie theater’s "Colored" entrance, Belzoni, Mississippi. 1939.
Jim Crow Signs were placed above water fountains, door entrances, and in front of public restrooms. There were separate hospitals, prisons, schools, churches, cemeteries, and restrooms. Georgia-No colored barber shall serve white girls or women. Georgia-Distinct arrangements should be made in mental hospitals so that no whites and blacks share a hall Georgia-People that are licensed to sell beer or wine may not sell to two races within the same room
The Rex theater for colored people, Leland, Mississippi. June 1937.
Blacks risked losing their homes, jobs, and even their lives. Whites could physically punish blacks. There was no help from the legal system because all judges, policemen, and juries were white. The most extreme form of violence were lynchings: Most victims of the lynch law were hanged or hot, but some were beaten with clubs, burned at the stake, castrated, or dismembered. This all took place in public. The lynch law believed that lynchings were necessary to protect white women from black rapists.
9 black young men accused of rape by two white women in 1931 The men were nearly lynched before being brought to court. They were not provided with a lawyer until the first day of the trial. The women were rumored to be prostitutes (they eventually recanted their testimony)
Despite medical testimony that the women had not been raped, the all-white jury found all of the men guilty and sentenced all but the youngest (a 12 year old) to death. Trials and retrials lasted over seven years Convictions eventually overturned due to lack of evidence All but one man was freed The Scottsboro case left a deep impression on the young Lee, who would use it later as the rough basis for the events in TKAM.