The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
Jim Crow Stories
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Jim Crow Stories

Introduction People Narratives Events Organizations

Read and listen to these compelling first-hand accounts by people who experienced, endured, and survived Jim Crow. None of the following people is famous, but all are noteworthy in their unique abilities to face -- and, often, thrive under -- extremely difficult circumstances. These are their stories.
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Wilhelmina Baldwin Audio icon

Baldwin recounts stories of segregation involving cars, curfews, and one particular young, white child firmly ensconced in the Jim Crow mentality.

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George Kenneth Butterfield Jr. Audio icon

Butterfield tells the story of when his uncle died because the white doctor did not arrive after more than eight hours after the accident.

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Thomas Christopher Columbus Chatmon Audio icon

Chatmon recalls the tale of his hard-working father, who was intent upon sending his son to school, and the white man who stole all his earnings.

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Olivia Cherry Audio icon

What's in a name? According to Cherry, it's a source of respect and dignity, and she didn't let anyone take that away.

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T.R. Davidson

In this narrative, Davidson talks about growing up, studying, and working in the South, as well the various manifestations of black-white relationships during Jim Crow.

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Charles Gratton Audio icon

Growing up with Jim Crow, Gratton sometimes felt there wasn't any other way to live. Here he tells of his indoctrination by his mother, among other memories.

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R.C. Hickman

R. C. Hickman talks about his news photography, which, though commercially motivated, was a conscious contribution to social change generally and black empowerment specifically.

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Joseph Holloway

Dr. Joseph Holloway is a professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University at Northridge. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Holloway recalls his first trip to the South and the horror of witnessing a lynching in Texas.

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Nobuo Honda

Nobuo Honda, a third-generation Japanese American, describes his encounter with segregation in the South.

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Edwilda Isaac Audio icon

Isaac remembers her college years, when she had to confront the ignorance of her schoolmates and absurd lies and stereotypes about black people.

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James Jones Audio icon

James Jones spent World War II serving his country. During this time, he experienced the strength, determination, and daring of his fellow black soldiers. He also shares a vivid memory of a concentration camp he helped liberate.

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Money Kirby Audio icon

Kirby aslo was a soldier during World War II. He recalls a life-and-death situation that tested the tenacity of bigotry and its humorous resolution.

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Maurice Lucas Audio icon

With ugly truth, Lucas explains the lengths to which white people went in order to prevent blacks from voting, even to the point of poisoning an entire population.

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James Nix Audio icon

Nix shares his memories of Jim Crow involving his father, a murder, and how the authorities didn't think much of it.

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John Harrison Volter Audio icon

Volter offers his own theory about the Ku Klux Klan, its formation, motivation, and its manipulation of the lower white class to empower the rich.

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If the Nazis did that to the Jews, what would they do to us?

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