This lesson is intended to be used with the American Radio Works audio documentary "Remembering Jim Crow." The full program is 51:27. To complete this lesson you may listen to the entire program or sections of the program, depending on time available.
I use this this worksheet in my United States History class and Civil Rights History class. It would also be appropriate in an American Literature course to provide context for any novel set in this time period.
The documentary is available as a DVD or can be found online. If a student misses the program in class, they can access the entire documentary online and listen for free. http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/remembering/
This powerful documentary captures the stories of hundreds of people who lived in the Jim Crow South. It is a powerful addition to any unit covering the Jim Crow era of American History.
For much of the 20th Century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as American citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal. The system was called Jim Crow. In this documentary, Americans—black and white—remember life in the Jim Crow times.
Praised as “viscerally powerful” (Publishers Weekly), this remarkable work of oral history captures the searing experience of the Jim Crow years—enriched by memories of individual, family, and community triumphs and tragedies. In vivid, compelling accounts, men and women from all walks of life tell how their day-to-day lives were subjected to profound and unrelenting racial oppression. At the same time, Remembering Jim Crow is a testament to how black Southerners fought back against the system—raising children, building churches and schools, running businesses, and struggling for respect in a society that denied them the most basic rights. The result is a powerful story of individual and community survival and an important part of the American past that is crucial for us to remember.
Jim Crow laws robbed African Americans of basic rights.
Danger, Violence, Exploitation
Blacks in the Jim Crow South faced lynchings, insults and thievery at the hands of whites.
Communities "Behind the Veil"
African Americans built vital social institutions to fight segregation and uplift the race.
Keeping the Past
Black families used oral storytelling and photography to pass along their memories of slavery and Reconstruction.
Many African Americans found subtle ways to combat the humiliation and economic hardship imposed by Jim Crow.
Whites Remember Jim Crow
In the southwestern Louisiana town of New Iberia, older whites say race relations were more peaceful during Jim Crow than they are now.