Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 7: What is Freedom?
Introduction Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 Segment 4 Segment 5 Segment 6 Segment 7

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Jim Crow Jubilee
Segment 6
Music Sheet for the Jim Crow Jubilee Jim Crow

It is clear. Reconstruction is over. The Northerners who had tried to help in the South are pushed out. Some are lynched. Southern whites who try to be fair to the former slaves are ridiculed, and they too are sometimes lynched. A new policy of separation takes over in the South. Thomas Hall was a former slave. He said, "The Yankees helped free us, but they let us be put back in slavery again."

Before the Civil War, the North had something the South didn't have. It had segregation. In the North, the races were separated—not by law, but by habit. Usually blacks (and Indians, and Asians) were not welcome in white hotels, restaurants, schools, or theaters. They could not get good jobs. The name for that segregation became Jim Crow. Jim Crow wasn't real. He was the name of a character in a song—a song about a black man who sang and danced and never gave anyone trouble. The song went like this: "Wheel about, turn about, dance jest so, Every time I wheel about I shout Jim Crow See It Now - "Jim Crow Jubiliee"."

In the South, before the Civil War, there was slavery but not segregation. Segregation cannot coexist with slavery; masters and their slaves must live in close proximity. After the Civil War, things in the North stayed much the same. Segregation by habit continued. But in the South, nothing was the same. In 1877, when congressional Reconstruction ended and the army troops left, the South was on its own. The black activist Frederick Douglass See It Now - Frederick Douglass explained: Hear It Now - Frederick Douglass "A former slave was free from the individual master, but the slave of society. He had neither money, property, nor friends. He was free from the old plantation, but he had nothing but the dusty road under his feet."

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Did You Know?
In 1897, an editorial in a Charleston, South Carolina, newspaper said: " The common sense and proper arrangement, in our opinion, is to provide first-class passengers, white and colored…. To speak plainly, we need, as everybody knows, separate cars and apartments for the rowdy or drunken white passengers far more than Jim Crow cars for colored passengers."

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?

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