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Jim Crow America

A Documentary History

Edited by Catherine M. Lewis and J. Richard Lewis

Publication Year: 2009

This unique book provides readers with a wealth of primary source materials from 1828 to 1980 that reveal how the Jim Crow era affects how historians practice their craft. The book is chronologically organized into five sections, each of which focuses on a different historical period in the story of Jim Crow: inventing, building, living, resisting, and dismantling. Many of the fifty-six documents and eighteen images and cartoons, many of which have not been published before, reveal something significant about this subject or offer an unconventional or unexpected perspective on this era. Some of the historical figures whose words are included are Abraham Lincoln, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Richard Wright, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Adam Clayton Powell, and Marian Anderson. The book also has an annotated bibliography, a list of key players, a timeline, and key topics for consideration.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press


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p. ix

This book, like all such projects, involved the assistance, hard work, and support of numerous people. We would like to begin by thanking Larry Malley, Julie Watkins, Brian King, Melissa King, and Thomas Lavoie at the University of Arkansas Press. Their enthusiasm and support for Jim Crow America has made the process all the more enjoyable...

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pp. xi-xxxiii

While the exact origin of the term “Jim Crow” is unknown, most historians point to performer Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice’s 1832 song and dance by the same name as an early source. It became a common adjective by 1838, and “Jim Crow law” was first cited in the Dictionary of American English in 1904. In popular culture, the Jim Crow farcical...

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1. Inventing Jim Crow

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pp. 1-41

The documents in this first section examine the origins of the term “Jim Crow,” the legal means by which slavery was ended in the United States, and early attempts to formalize and justify segregation throughout the nation after the Civil War...

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2. Building Jim Crow

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pp. 43-86

Jim Crow was not a single federal law, but a series of state, local, and county statutes, as well as unwritten codes of conduct, that evolved into a restrictive, punitive system of widespread segregation, created in the North and later concentrated in the American South. The documents in this section present a wide range of perspectives on the laws themselves...

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3. Living Jim Crow

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pp. 87-141

The documents in this section examine the multiple ways in which African Americans and whites lived, worked, and played under the restrictions demanded by Jim Crow...

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4. Resisting Jim Crow

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pp. 143-184

Resistance to Jim Crow laws and customs, either individual forms of defiance or organized challenges, is the focus of the documents in this section...

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5. Dismantling Jim Crow

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pp. 185-234

This final section examines the multiple ways in which Jim Crow was challenged and eventually dismantled, illustrating the transition from nearly a century-long period of segregation to integration, brought forth by the Brown v. Board of Education decision (1954), the Civil Rights Act...

Appendix 1: Timeline

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pp. 235-240

Appendix 2: Discussion Questions

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pp. 241-242

Appendix 3: Sample Assignments

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pp. 243-249

Annotated Bibliography

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pp. 251-256


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pp. 257-271

About the Authors

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p. 273

E-ISBN-13: 9781610752138
E-ISBN-10: 1610752139
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557288950
Print-ISBN-10: 155728895X

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 18 photographs
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 659346951
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Jim Crow America

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Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- Sources.
  • Racism -- United States -- History -- Sources.
  • United States -- Race relations -- Sources.
  • African Americans -- Segregation -- History -- Sources.
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