Period 1

The Problem(s)

  • The average life of an African American was 33 years.
  • Hostility towards African Americans from whites.
  • 9 out of 10 African Americans still lived in the south. 3 out of 4 of those African Americans were tenant farmers or sharecroppers. They were permanent agricultural wage labors and sharecroppers.
  • African Americans had menial wages for back-breaking jobs.
  • African Americans in the South weren’t allowed the right to vote and citizenship.
  • African Americans moved to the northern cities because of the poor conditions in the south.
  • Jim Crow laws were a system of racial discrimination. In the beginning of 1890, every southern state had deprived of the rights of citizenship to African Americans through the use of literacy tests and poll taxes.
  • The North was still very segregated.
  • Lots of lynching and hanging was very common in the South in the early 1900’s. About 1,000 lynching’s occurred from 1900-1915. In small towns where there wasn’t much entertainment, lynchings were popular social gatherings.

The Solution(s)

  • The African American community had leaders like Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey. They had different opinions as Washington embraced the system of segregation, Du Bois decried it, and Garvey advocated that African Americans return to Africa instead of trying to stay in the racist America.
  • In 1911, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed. An Organization to improve African Americans’ position in society.
  • The NAACP challenged segregation in courts across the country.
  • They tried to kill Jim Crow Laws in court in which African Americans in the South were subject to segregation, not being able to vote, and other benefits of citizenship.
  • It was slow work, but they had increasing success later in the 20th century.
  • Ida Wells-Barnett, an African American journalist, began to stop lynching after three of her male friends were lynched in 1892.
  • The Niagara movement was a group formed to secure the rights of freedom of speech in 1905. They also met to improve and encourage the education of African Americans. In 1906 a second Niagara conference was formed at Harpers Ferry. In 1909 a third conference was held. The leaders then thought that it needed a permanent organization which formed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  • The NAACP started to publicly condemn lynching in the 1910s.
  • Many anti-lynching bills were put into congress. The first one was in 1900, but it didn’t get past committee. They attempted again in 1919, but it was killed in the Senate in 1922.
  • This resulted in Anti-lynching Movement.

The Images

external image naacp.jpg
The NAACP was formed from the Niagara movement.
A postcard of the lynching of Lige Daniels. It Says "This was made in the court yard in Center, Texas. He is a 16 year old Black boy. He killed Earl's grandma. She was Florence's mother. Give this to Bud. From Aunt Myrtle."
external image 300px-Lynching-of-lige-daniels.jpg
external image NiagaraMovement.gif
Founding members of the Niagara Movement: Top row, left to right: H. A. Thompson, New York; Alonzo F. Herndon, Georgia; unidentified; unidentified. 2nd Row, left to right: Fred McGhee, Minnesota; unidentified boy; J. Max Barber, Illinois; W.E.B. Du Bois, Atlanta; Robert Bonner, Massachusetts; Bottom Row: left to right: Henry L. Baily, Washington, D.C.; Clement G. Morgan, Massachusetts; W.H.H. Hart, Washington, D.C.; and B.S. Smith, Kansas
A few children sharecroppers.
external image greatdepression_arkansas31.jpg
external image jincrow.jpg
Governor Sonny Perdue signed four bills repealing the Jim Crow Laws.

The Primary Sources

"This was made in the court yard in Center, Texas. He is a 16 year old Black boy. He killed Earl's grandma. She was Florence's mother. Give this to Bud. From Aunt Myrtle." - The back of a postcard.

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." Booker T. Washington

"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea." W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk, 1903)

The Citations

Progressive Era - Race Relations Handout
Niagara Movement - http://www.africanamericans.com/NiagaraMovement.htm
Lynching -