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The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Multi-Media Report

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow is a series consisting of four episodes discussing segregation, racial hatred, and the civil rights movement. The second episode, Fighting Back, particularly describes the beginning of the 20th century, marked by the rise of the black middle class. However, the success of the blacks provoked aggression among the white racists who wanted to suppress this uplift. These anti-black sentiments were expressed by men wearing red shirts, which resemble “pre-fascist outfits,” at the rallies and threat of employers to fire black workers who “register the vote” (The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, 10:30-10:31; 10:37-10:39). Nonetheless, the aggression of white supremacists was a driver for the African American activists and forced them to keep on fighting for their civil rights. Still, the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson exacerbated the division between black and white in the South because he allowed several departments there to segregate the employees.

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One of the present video’s main points is that despite the existing aggression and threat to their life and well-being, black people ceased hiding and were undertaking numerous attempts to protect their rights and freedom. For instance, as it was noted in the preceding paragraph, white employers were firing black employees who dared to vote. Remarkably, the organization of black women forced men to vote because the obedience to the whites showed nothing but disgrace. It is curious to notice that white supremacists caused a split between those blacks who wanted to surrender to the idea of inferiority of their race and those fighting for equality. This split is evident from the promise of one of the female activists to deal with “white-livered cowards” who do not risk voting “in a way that shall not be pleasant” (The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, 11:00-11:01; 10:56-10:59). At this point, it should be noted that the educator, Dr. Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and the founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, William Du Bois, significantly contributed to the progress in the movement of African Americans.

Another critical issue discussed in the second episode is that black people were intentionally denigrated through plays and news reports. More precisely, in The Klansman, Thomas Dixon presents African Americans as “lustful, criminal, and degenerate” (The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, 40:08-40:12). In addition, newspapers were making up news about rapes committed by the blacks. The attempts of news media and prominent artists to promote such an awful image of African Americans were immensely successful and easily manipulated the worldview of ordinary white citizens. Undoubtedly, not all white people supported the idea of racial superiority. For example, the previously mentioned Du Bois was not only a sociologist and writer but also a civil rights activist who fought segregation even though he was white. Nonetheless, Boiss progressive views were an exception to the general rule.

The second episode of The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow is immensely impressive because it shows what black people went through on their way to equality with white people. Nowadays, the issue of racial discrimination remains topical on the national. For me, it seems that people forgot how complicated it was to establish equality of rights and abilities between the representatives of various races in the US. This video serves as a reminder of what might happen if people do not discard their groundless bias and hatred towards people who differ from them in some ways.

Question for discussion: This episode made me think of the current situation with inequality. Currently, numerous universities implement inclusion policies to assist minorities in getting enrolled. However, one might suppose that assistance to racial minorities proves that these people are weaker than whites and could not cope without external help. Thus, the question is, why do these policies could not be regarded as racist even though they are implemented with good intentions?

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“The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.” YouTube, uploaded by Phoenix Sankofa,  2016, Web.

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StudyCorgi. "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Multi-Media Report." October 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-jim-crow-multi-media-report/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Multi-Media Report." October 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-jim-crow-multi-media-report/.

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