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Jim Crow Epusode #5

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From the late 1870s, Southern state legislatures, no longer controlled by carpetbaggers and freedmen, passed laws requiring the separation of whites from “persons of color” in public transportation and schools. Generally, anyone of ascertainable or strongly suspected black ancestry in any degree was for that purpose a “person of color”; the pre-Civil War distinction favoring those whose ancestry was known to be mixed—particularly the half-French “free persons of color” in Louisiana—was abandoned. The segregation principle was extended to parks, cemeteries, theaters, and restaurants in an effort to prevent any contact between blacks and whites as equals. It was codified on local and state levels and most famously with the “separate but equal” decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

The second episode explores the dramatic rise of a successful black middle class and the determination of white supremacists to destroy this fledgling black political power. Through the efforts of men and women like educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown, African Americans continued to move forward. Black artists created new genres of American music and an intellectual elite, personified by the pioneering W.E.B. Du Bois, emerged. Du Bois, a charter member of the newly founded National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was the editor of its magazine, THE CRISIS. This episode ends with the violence at home giving way to warfare abroad as thousands of black Americans depart for World War I.

Footage downloaded and edited by Jason Roeseke at PublicAccessPod producer of Public Access America
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