To kill a mockingbird
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To Kill A Mockingbird. Background PowerPoint and Notes. The Great Depression. Overspending in the 1920’s Stock Market crash of 1929 President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal World War II.

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To kill a mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird

Background PowerPoint and Notes

The great depression
The Great Depression

  • Overspending in the 1920’s

  • Stock Market crash of 1929

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal

  • World War II

Just like Of Mice and Men and the situation presented in Cinderella Man, people in Alabama suffered because of America’s economy.

Racial segregation
Racial Segregation

  • January 1, 1863: Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom for all slaves.

    • Intended to weaken the South’s power during the U.S. Civil War

    • Although slaves were “free,” black people were affected by state laws that prevented equality

    • These laws were known as the Jim Crow Laws

Plessy vs ferguson
Plessy vs. Ferguson

  • Strengthened the already popular Jim Crow Laws

  • In 1892, 30-year-old Homer Plessywas jailed for sitting in a “white” section of a railroad car

  • Plessy was 1/8th black, but under Louisiana law, he was considered “colored” and was supposed to ride in the “colored car.”

  • Plessy argued that his arrest was a violation of the Constitution

  • Ferguson, the judge, found Plessy GUILTY of refusing the leave the “white car.”

Plessy vs ferguson1
Plessy vs. Ferguson

  • After an appeal, the case went to the Supreme Court, which upheld the decision and perpetuated the concept of “separate but equal.”

  • This enabled schools, courthouses, libraries, hotels, theaters, restaurants, public transportation, etc., to segregate “coloreds” from “whites.”

Jim crow laws
Jim Crow Laws

  • The term Jim Crow comes from the minstrel show song “Jump Jim Crow” written in 1828 and performed by Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice, a white English migrant to the U.S. and the first popularizer of blackface performance.

  • A caricature of a shabbily dressed rural black named “Jim Crow” became a standard character in minstrel shows.

Jim crow lyrics
Jim Crow Lyrics

Come, listen, all you girls and boys, I'm just from Tuckahoe; I'm going to sing aWheel about, and turn about, and do just so;Every time I wheel about, I jump Jim Crow.

little song, My name's Jim Crow.

I went down to the river, I didn't mean to stay, But there I saw so many girls, I couldn't get away. I'm roaring on the fiddle, and down in old Virginia, They say I play the scientific, like master Paganini, I cut so many monkey shines, I dance the galoppade; And when I'm done, I rest my head, on shovel, hoe or spade.

I met Miss Dub one day, I give her such a buss [kiss]; And then she turn and slap my face, and make a mighty fuss. The other girls they begin to fight, I told them wait a bit; I'd have them all, just one by one, as I thought fit. I whip the lion of the west, I eat the alligator; I put more water in my mouth, then boil ten loads of potatoes. The way they bake the hoe cake, Virginia never tire; They put the dough upon the foot, and stick them in the fire.

Jim Crow Song

Jim crow laws1
Jim Crow Laws

  • With a partner, look over the Jim Crow Laws and put three of them into your own words.

  • Share them with the class (in your own words).

  • Answer numbers 8 through 10 on your worksheet.


  • Blacks were expected to refer to whites with titles of superiority like BOSS, SIR, CAPTIAN, MISS, or MRS.

  • Whites referred to blacks using derogatory terms like BOY, LADY, GIRL and the N word.

  • Blacks were expected to lets whites walk of the sidewalk and signs reading things like “Negroes and Dogs Not Allowed” were common

Harper lee
Harper Lee

  • Born Nelle Harper Lee, April 28, 1926

  • Grew up during the Great Depression

  • Grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, in the heart of the South, where racial tension was high

  • Dad was a lawyer

  • Mother’s maiden name was Finch

The scottsboro trials
The Scottsboro Trials

  • In 1931, a fight between white and black teen boys occurred on a train between Tennessee and Alabama.

  • Two girls on a train, one well-known prostitute and one minor, were accused of violating the Mann Act (crossing state lines for prostitution).

  • They immediately accused all nine black men of rape.

The scottsboro trials1
The Scottsboro Trials

  • Eight of the nine boys were sentenced to death despite the fact that they were not even all in the same rail car.

  • Appeals continued for years and only two were acquitted.