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Lives of African-Americans in the the South in 1930
Transcript of Lives of African-Americans in the the South in 1930
in the 1930s
In the 1930's, blacks suffered because of racial discrimination
Treated as second class citizens
Lowered opportunities and chance of succeeding because of their race
Black children were raised thinking there was something wrong with them and were always looked down upon the white community
The children were always conscious of the racism situation happening and were forbidden to play with the white children
By: Ryan Tu & Nadia Soukary
"One evening I got off a freight train and asked a farmer for work. His name was Mr. Ree he told me I could sleep in his barn that night and he would give me something to do in the morning. So I slept in his farm and worked for him the next day. '
OK, boy, here’s your pay, take it and be on your way'
he said when the day was over.
And I said, '
Thank you, Mr. Ree, for letting me sleep with your mules in the hay, thank you for letting me work twelve long hours for one dollars pay.'"
- Press, Greenhaven.
The Great Depression
. Farmington Hills, MI: Christine Nasso, 2010. (Page 195)
The Jim Crow Law was enforced to the southern states, which related to segregation
The policy of segregation meant that blacks had to have their own schools, churches, washrooms, even their own cemeteries than whites
After the Civil War, landowners lost their slaves and the African-Americans had no where to go
Landowners had lots of land, but couldn’t afford work
Sharecropping came into play in the southern states
Sharecroppers worked on land that belonged to someone else
In return, the landowner would provide them with the basic needs of life
They were forced to work because they didn’t have many other options and it was a new form of slavery
The workers’ houses were in very bad condition
The landowner didn’t care about how the house was, as long as they had a living condition
In 1950, sharecropping was abolished because tractors were allowing landowners to do the work without sharecroppers
To Kill a Mockingbird
Sharecropping would have been very popular in Maycomb and most of the towns African-Americans were most likely sharecroppers
There are two important characters who are sharecroppers in the novel
Mr. Cunningham was a victim of sharecropping because no matter how much money they make, they do not really earn much of it
The Cunningham family are one of the poorest families in Maycomb
They Cunningham family don’t accept anything from people if they can’t return it. Ex: Walter Cunning was offered 25 cents from Miss Caroline and he refused it, since he couldn’t pay it back
Tom Robinson was also a sharecropper with a family who worked year round
When he was young, he injured himself but still continued working to support his family
To Kill a Mocking Bird
, black people of Maycomb are completely segregated from the white
They live in an area of the town called "The Quarters"
They go to their own church (First Purchase)
Their children must go to separate schools
They have their own separate seats in the courthouse called the "Colored Balcony."
Southern schools were racially segregated and blacks and white children had to attend different schools.
Schools for white children were more wealthy
Fewer African-Americans were attending school since they were needed on the farm.
Even if they were not needed on the farm, the landowner might think that blacks didn’t deserve an education and pull the children out of school
More schools in the city, than the rural areas, near the farm
For the ones who went to school, most were in fourth grade or lower.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Jem and Scout are surprised to find that only four people in First Place Church can read
Scout discovers that when one person sings a line of the hymn and the rest of the congregation repeats it because most of them can't read even if they could afford hymnals
They did not know that Maycomb's black population is denied an education
All white children have the opportunity to learn to read
Scout and Jem now understands the unfairness for African-Americans
Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865
During the American Civil War, Lincoln ended slavery in the United States "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free"
In Chapter 22 of
To Kill a Mockingbird
, Tom Robinson got a trail but Atticus knew he was going to loose but will try his best anyways
This shows that even though the laws has changed, it doesn't mean that attitudes about blacks has changed either
So when slavery was abolished, blacks were still mistreated and were looked down upon the whites even decades later.
Martin Luther King Jr.
born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia
attended segregated public schools and graduated high school at age 15
After Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955, he was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association
He had a vision of a society which race wasn't an issue in how people were treated or how they were allowed to live their lives, so he joined in the fight for civil rights for black Americans
On August 28, 1963 delivered a public speech "I Have a Dream" to over 250,000 americans to end racism in the United States
His speech inspired Americans to start ending segregation.
On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated at the age of 39
After his death, people felt the importance of his cause and realized that he died for something he believed in, something that was important for others to believe in as well
is the African-American housekeeper for the Finches home
is not treated like the typical black woman in this time period because it is very rare that a black employee is treated like family in a white household
is treated really nicely and with lots of respect in the Finch household. She acts as a mother figure in the Finch household while Atticus trusts and relies on her to help raise his children
isn't accepted by everyone, some of Atticus’s white friends look down on Calpurnia as a servant
For example, Aunt Alexandra wanted to fire Cal because she was a black woman
To Kill a Mockingbird
Knowing historical context helped us understand the literature because it explains to us why everything happened in the novel
For example, knowing that blacks were treated as second class citizens, we know why the white jury said Tom Robinson was guilty, when he was innocent
The historical context is the background on which something is set or written
Since the book was based on a white family that lives in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s, a lot was happening during the 1930’s that was not only occurring in the novel, but was also occurring in the real world
In this time period, the jury were all white, believing that Tom was guilty for raping and harassing Mayella Ewell
During this time period, there was tons of segregation going on and in this case, it was a black versus white situation
They knew that black people like Tom was going to lose even with Atticus’s evidence
The relationship of the jury with the blacks made if unfair
The jury decided that Tom was guilty even though the evidence provided showed he was innocent
In the end, Tom lost the battle against society because of his race
It's wrong to harm someone that does no harm to you. It's "a sin to kill a mockingbird"
racism is a major theme of the novel because blacks were being mistreated by society
The African- Americans are mockingbirds because they are innocent people who never did anything bad to the whites, but they are mistreated because of their race
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1960.
Press, Greenhaven. The Great Depression. Farmington Hills, MI: Christine Nasso, 2010. Page 195-204.
Kennedy, David M. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Oxford University Press; New York, 1999.
Library of Congress. Race Relations in the 1930s and 1940s. Washington, D.C.: Librarian of Congress, 2012. (Seen on November 9, 2014.) http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/depwwii/race/
Lynch, Hollis. African American life during the Great Depression and the New Deal. Britannia: Encyclopedia Britannia, 2014. (Seen on November 9, 2014.) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/67474/African-Americans/285193/African-American-life-during-the-Great-Depression-and-the-New-Deal
Lee, Sustar. Blacks and the Great Depression. New York: Socialist Worker, 1986. (Seen on November 8, 2014.) http://socialistworker.org/2012/06/28/blacks-and-the-great-depression
In the story, Tom Robinson is a black man who is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell
Atticus, his defendant, tries to explain to the white jury that he is innocent with all his evidence
During this time period, situations like this were very common and blacks were in jail were many things they didn’t do
So in the end, the jury said he was jury and got killed
He is the mockingbird because all he does is stay out of trouble but is accused of a crime .
Because I Am Black
Because I am black,
I was second class.
Just because of my race,
I was considered a disgrace.
I was nothing but dirt,
as far as whites were concerned.
The depression hit us hard,
all I did was work in the farmyard.
We were blamed for things we didn’t do,
just like Mayella and Tom’s case too.
It was us against society,
all we had was each other, we were like family.
Sadly, this was reality,
there was no such thing as equality.
Because I am black,
I am the mockingbird.