Synopsis by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
The second episode of The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow documents the rising black middle class and the birth of African-American political organizations, like the NAACP in 1909. During this time, W.E.B. Du Bois emerged as an outspoken critic of the Jim Crow South in the pages of the NAACP's magazine, The Crisis. Others, like Charlotte Hawkins Brown, worked to improve educational opportunities for African-Americans. The 1910s would also see the birth of jazz, as artists like Louis Armstrong came to prominence. Despite advances in prosperity and political autonomy, however, many blacks continued to be threatened by violence. In the elections of 1898 in North Carolina, many ballot boxes were stuffed to remove African-Americans from political offices. In Wilmington, violence broke out, leading to a number of deaths. The limitations on black freedom would become more apparent as many African-Americans traveled abroad to fight for democracy in Europe during World War I. "Fighting Back" unfolds as an affecting oral history.
segregation, African-American, racism, civil-liberties, white-supremacy, lynching