Literary Analization of The Strange Career of Jim Crow by C. Vann Woodward Essay

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The Strange Career of Jim Crow Book Review

In this fervently detailed book, C. Vann Woodward uses the press to express the rapid growth in sentiment of African-Americans catalyzed by the Jim Crow laws. He alludes to an 1898 editorial in the Charleston News and Courier which states, “If there must be Jim Crow cars on the railroads, there should be Jim crow cars on the street railways. Also on all passenger boats...If there are Jim Crow cars, moreover, there should be Jim Crow waiting saloons at all stations, and Jim Crow sections in the jury box, and a separate Jim Crow dock and witness stands in every court-and a Jim Crow Bible for colored witnesses to kiss.” (68)
Obviously being given a sarcastic undertone, Woodward then goes on to express points-of-view on racism from different aspects of society. How politics need not get involved with opposing opinions because, out of many reasons, the Republicans wanted the popular vote, same as Democrats, but that North-South political divide was still etched into the map of the United States.
Each party made sure not to upset the ideals of the other insofar as to cause another Civil War. He says how not even a Republican leader like Roosevelt, “will now dare to wave the bloody shirt and preach a crusade against the South’s treatment of the negro.” (73) This may prove, partially, as to why it took so long for civil rights reform in government legislature to occur. Despite these political efforts to keep peace, Southern influence on race went well up into the North, and around 1906, the same newspaper that outlined the absurdity of racism went on to say, “’Separation of the races is the only radical solution of the negro problem in this country…there is no room for them [the Negroes] here.’” (96)
In this time period between (late 1800s to early 1900s), the ideals rapidly change between what racism is and what the solution to it is. The increasing disfranchisement of--but not limited to--African-Americans in the transition into the 20th Century may have been worse than ever because of the fact that people are living closer together, population is increasing, and ideally because of the simple fact that “European Americans (particularly Anglo Americans) were privileged by law in matters of literacy, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure over periods of time extending from the 17th century to the 1960s.” (“Racism in the United States”) This Anglo-Saxon tradition had been withheld for centuries. To equalize the culture at the point of America’s prime would, at the time, be considered counter-intuitive towards the greater purpose of keeping America one of the biggest world powers. To digress, not all international matters had to do with racism, and internally, America had its own social problems.
More products of racism had been produced as the years went on. There were good products and bad, for example: the founding of the NAACP benefited the segregated races in many ways. Then there is the Ku Klux Klan, which became a symbol for the bigoted and evil sentimentality that had its roots dug deep into subjects like Social Darwinism and the traditional ways of Anglo-Saxon ideals in white supremacy. The influx of racism in this time period, however, can be argued to have been one of the worst periods in history in which racial tension and segregation had identified itself.

Throughout the course of history, white people have always considered themselves the highest and most intelligent race among humanity. An example of this could be during America’s conquest of many Pacific islands and in the Gulf of Mexico in the late 1800s. With these conquests came an influx of immigrants from said countries, i.e. Filipinos, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans. These foreigners made the so-called “white man’s burden,” an even heavier weight to carry. The whites now felt obligated to shape the country around the population’s needs, but also had sentiment towards the…