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The Black Experience Black Americans in 1920’s USA






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The Black Experience Black Americans in 1920’s USA. Plymstock School History Department. Listen to this piece of music. What do you think it is about?.
The Black Experience Black Americans in 1920’s USA

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The black experience black americans in 1920 s usa l.jpgSlide 1

The Black ExperienceBlack Americans in 1920’s USA

Plymstock School History Department

Listen to this piece of music l.jpgSlide 2

Listen to this piece of music

What do you think it is about?

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Black AmericansAt the turn of the Twentieth Century the United States of America was considered to be the ‘Land of the Free’. Millions of immigrants moved to the country from all over the world to start their lives again.In this lesson we will see if the earlier black immigrants to America shared in the same hopes and had the same chances as these later arrivals.

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Aims:How were Black Americans treated in the USA?What was/is the legacy of slavery?

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How did the USA portray itself to outsiders?

Put this as a title

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Q. What is this Statue called?

Q. With this symbol, how would you expect Black Americans to be treated in the USA?

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‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal before God’

Declaration of Independence 1776

Q. With this opening statement to the most important document in the USA, how would you expect Black Americans to be treated?

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‘A nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal before God’

The Gettysburg Address 1863 – Ending Slavery in the USA

Q. With this statement, ending slavery in the USA, how would you expect Black Americans to be treated by the Twentieth Century?

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The Signing of the Declaration of Independence - 1776

Q. What observations can you make about the group?

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The Reality

The year the Statue of Liberty was built, 300 Black Americans were lynched, whilst thousands more lived with laws that persecuted them for their colour.

The Declaration of Independence states later in its text that ‘all men’ excludes women and that slaves are equal to one sixth of a white men.

The Declaration of Independence was written by white men, for white men. All the signatories were slave owners.

The Gettysburg address ended slavery on paper, but failed to change the minds of many whites.

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Listen to this piece of music again

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  • Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

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Pastoral scene of the gallant south, The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth, Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh, Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

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  • Here is fruit for the crows to pluck, For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop, Here is a strange and bitter crop.

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Jim Crow Laws

Because slavery was abolished many states in the southern states of America introduced local laws which kept the blacks as second class citizens. These were called Jim Crow Laws.

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Jim Crow LawsThese rules of etiquette were written down in the 1880’sas guidance for Black Americans and Whites.Never assert or even intimate that a White person is lying. Never impute dishonourable intentions to a White person. Never suggest that a White person is from an inferior class. Never lay claim to, or overly demonstrate, superior knowledge or intelligence. Never curse a White person. Never laugh derisively at a White person. Never comment upon the appearance of a White female.

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Which of the following are true. Put the heading ‘Jim Crow’ & list the numbers you think are true: 1 – 14.

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o     Barbers. No coloured barber shall serve as a barber (to) white girls or women o     Blind Wards. The board of trustees shall...maintain a separate building...on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the coloured or black race o     Burial. The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any coloured persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons o     Buses. All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and coloured races o     Child Custody. It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this State, having the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or acquired, or otherwise, to dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the custody, control, maintenance, or support, of a Negro o     Education. The schools for white children and the schools for Negro children shall be conducted separately o     Libraries. The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the coloured people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals o     Mental Hospitals. The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together

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o     Militia. The white and coloured militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organisation. No organisation of coloured troops shall be permitted where white troops are available and where whites are permitted to be organised, coloured troops shall be under the command of white officers (o     Nurses. No person or corporation shall require any White female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed o     Prisons. The warden shall see that the white convicts shall have separate apartments for both eating and sleeping from the negro convicts o     Reform Schools. The children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform shall be kept entirely separate from each other (Kentucky). o     Teaching. Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the white and coloured race are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined... Wine and Beer. All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine...shall serve either white people exclusively or coloured people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time

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The last recorded lynching (illegal hanging of a black person) was in 1962.

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"I Have A Dream" by Martin Luther King, Jr,Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.How is Americas Black population still suffering in the 1960’s?

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Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.

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One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

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This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

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Tupac Shakur‘The Way it Is…’1990

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I see no changes I wake up in the morning and I ask myself Is life worth living or should I blast myself I'm tired of being poor and even worse I'm black My stomach hurts so I'm looking for a purse to snatch Cops give a damn about a negro Pull a trigger kill a nigga he's a hero Givin' crack to the kids who the hell cares One less hungry mouth on the welfare Worship dope let 'em deal the brotha's Give 'em guns step back watch them kill each other It's time to fight back that's what Hewie said 2 shots in the dark now Hewie's dead I got love for my brotha But we could never go nowhere unless we share with each other We gotta start making changes Learn to see me as a brotha instead of 2 distant strangers And that's how it's supposed to be

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How can anotha' take a brotha' if he's close to me I love to go back to when we played as kids But things changed - that's the way it is Chorus: That's just the way it is Things will never be the same That's just the way it is Oh yeah That's just the way it is Things will never be the same That's just the way it is Oh yeah I see no changes All I see is racist faces Misplaced hate makes disgraced the races We under I wonder what it takes to make this One better place let's erase the wasted Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right Cause both black and white are smokin' crack tonight And the only time we chill is when we kill each other It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other And I know it seems evident we aint ready To see a black president It ain't a secret don't conceal the facts up penitentiary back And it's filled with blacks But some things will never change

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Try to show another way, but you're staying in the dope game Now tell me what's a mother to do Being real to the deal to the brotha in you You gotta operate the easy way "I made a G today" But you made it in a sleazy way Selling crack to the kids "I gotta get paid" Well hey Well that's the way it is Chorus We gotta make a change It's time for us as a people to start making some changes Let's change the way we eat Let's change the way we live And let's change the way we treat each other You see the old way wasn't working so it's on Us to do what we gotta do...to survive And still I see no changes Can't a brotha get a little peace, it's war in the Streets and the war in the middle east Instead of war on the poverty, they got a war On drugs so the police can bother me And I ain't never did a crime I ain't had to do But now I'm back with the facts giving it back to you Don't let them jack you up, back you up, crack you up, And pimp slap you up You gotta learn to hold your own They gettin' jealous when they see you with your mobile phone But tell the cops they can't touch this I don't trust this when they try to rush I bust this That's the sound of my 2 But they say it and cool And my momma didn't raise no fool And as long as I stay black I gotta stay strapped And I never get to lay back Cause I always gotta worry about the payback Something rough that I roughed up way back Coming back after all those years Ratta tat tat tat tat That's the way it is Chorus Some things never change

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Study the words of Martin Luther Kings (1960) speech and the lyrics of Tupac’s song (1990).

Highlight the text to identify ways in which the black population of America have and continue to suffer.

Write a paragraph summarising your notes

‘From my note I can see the following things…’


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