Lesson Plan 4: Growing Up in a Segregated Society, 1880s-1930s


Books & Media

Chafe, William H., Raymond Gavins, and Robert Korstad, eds. Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South.  New York: The New Press, 2001.  Includes both the book and two accompanying CDs with selections from this oral history collection.  Used for the Historical Background and the oral history excerpts.

Manuel-Scott, Wendi.  The Civil Rights Movement, Race and the Tradition of Black Protest, and Teaching Jim Crow.  PowerPoint Presentations for Fauquier and Alexandria, VA Teaching American History grants, 2005-06, and the Laurel Grove School Curriculum Project, 2008.
Taylor, Mildred. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. New York: Puffin Books, 1997.  This often-read classic is set in the Jim Crow south during this period and told from the vantage point of a child/children.  Particularly: an account of what it was like to receive your first books at school and find what was written by white children in the front – and how to cope with this situation in dignity, pp.15-31; and an account of what it’s like to be ignored and dismissed at your local store because of your race – and how children had to carefully weigh their responses, pp. 109-116.

The Great Debaters, a 2007 film that captures both the considerable challenges of living in the Jim Crow south, as well as the strategies that blacks developed for overcoming these challenges.  “A wonderful cast and top-notch script elevate The Great Debaters beyond a familiar formula for a touching, uplifting drama.”


Online exhibition from the National Museum of American History’s exhibit Separate is Not Equal.

Offers definitions, explanations, photos, examples of laws and Jim Crow etiquette.

Especially useful sections on Jim Crow Laws, Lynching and Riots, and Jim Crow Stories.  The lesson plans and activities are also useful.

The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has an extensive digital collection.