The Strange Career Of Jim Crow Summary

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In C. Vann Woodward’s book, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, Woodward talks about the “Twilight Zone” which was the period of myths. Woodward was the first Historian to write about race relations in the time period between 1860 and 1965. Woodward’s purpose of writing this book was to show that segregation even by law has always been prevalent, and to “make the attempt to relate to the origins and development of Jim Crowism to the bewildering rapid changes that have occurred in race relations” (C.V.W. 2nd Preface pg. 17). Woodward’s thesis throughout his book was that racial segregation, which was later known as Jim Crow in the South, did not begin immediately after the Civil War in 1865; moreover that race relations changed in the 1890s and …show more content…
pg. 17). Therefore, Woodward confronted a major debate among many historians, that segregation was not a unique southern practice; moreover, it was just a conventional idea. During the 1830’s, before the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in the North had many freedoms and liberties; moreover, in the 1830s there was a vast split between the two races. However, a small population of blacks in the North did not experience these liberties because of many states exercising legal codes, forerunner of Jim Crow, which segregated the races. In addition, Abraham Lincoln further condemned the blacks by saying, “ We can not, then, make them equals. I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race” (C.V.W. pg. 21). Lincoln’s words ensured Americans, especially in the North, that racial injustice was the norm. Many historians argue that Jim Crow laws weren’t needed because whites and blacks were getting …show more content…
On the local level there was very little interaction between blacks and whites; in cities were the population was condense there was still little confrontation between the different races. Woodward states that it was because of the lack of confidence the blacks had; moreover, blacks did not go to restaurants or theaters. Surprisingly, many blacks still acted as if they were slaves. After the blacks were freed, many of them stayed within a local proximity from where they were enslaved because that was the place they knew best. However, the interaction between the blacks and whites would soon change due to freed slaves become more confident in their new

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