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Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South Paperback – February 13, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (February 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565847784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565847781
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,312,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Old people knew things that we'll probably never know," confides one interview subject in this viscerally powerful book and compact disc compilation of firsthand accounts of the Jim Crow era. Drawing on the 1,200 interviews with African-Americans that make up the Duke University collection called Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South, this sequel to the book-and-audio compilation Remembering Slavery offers testimonies by people from 25 communities in 10 states, representing diverse economic, social and cultural lifestyles urban and rural, industrial and agricultural, Piedmont and Delta. Readers and listeners will confront "the dailiness of the terror blacks experienced at the hands of capricious whites" and of "the capacity of the black community to come to each other's aid and invent means of sustaining the collective will to survive." The editors provide lucid historical context for recollections of family, work, school and church. "[S]tories of rapes and beatings, of houses burned to the ground and land stolen, of harrowing escapes in the middle of the night" appear alongside accounts of "the extraordinary and multiple ways in which resistance to Jim Crow occurred and was nourished." Some of the stories are so extreme as to seem absurd white singers mistakenly sent to a black club conceal themselves under pancake makeup; a county's average expenditure for white students is $40.68 per student, and for black students, $5.95. This moving, deeply instructive book reveals how "African Americans developed their own life, hidden and estranged from the lives of white people." Two one-hour compact discs, 50 b&w photos. Appendixes not seen by PW. (Nov.)Forecast: The award-winning Remembering Slavery attracted countless readers and listeners, partly because public radio stations broadcast the tapes. Expect a similar reception for this volume.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This sequel to Remembering Slavery (LJ 9/1/98) is another effort to recover the history of black life in the American South, with interviews this time focusing on the era of segregation. It is a rare opportunity to read and hear the voices of black Southerners who experienced one of the most hideous periods in America's history, "a time of severe legal, economic, political, and social oppression, all reinforced by the pervasive threat of extralegal violence, especially lynching." Based on about 1200 interviews and in-depth research in 25 communities and ten different states undertaken by the Behind the Veil project at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, this remarkable book-and-CD set offers intimate views into the thoughts, activities, and anxieties of black Americans and at the same time strengthens our understanding of the Jim Crow era. Included are two one-hour CDs of the radio documentary produced by American Radio Works, a transcript of the audio program, 50 rare segregation-era photographs, biographical information, and suggestions for further reading. This superb primary source will appeal to public and academic libraries. Edward G. McCormack, Univ. of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Lib., Long Beach
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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It can be read through, or picked up at any part.
Frank
I enjoyed the oral history that is presentated and I would recommend this book if you want a greater understanding of this time.
Todd M. Jones
It helps me to understand better what my grandparents and other relatives had to endure living here in the South.
C. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Frank on October 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely superb book, comprised of recollections of the Jim Crow years in the form of oral histories. It can be read through, or picked up at any part. There is an appropriate amount of historical introduction to each chapter.
This material needs to be read, and remembered. There was a long time in our history when, although there was no more slavery, African Americans were treated as a separate serf class, under constant pressures and reminders of their lower status. Whites used pervasive legal and social downward pressures to keep African Americans out of an equal education, and equal access to public facilities, much less the right to equal jobs and the right to vote -- and then claimed that African Americans' lack of achievement was a racial fault. If an African American violated one of the many social taboos, the sanctions ranged from a beating, to loss of job, and even being lynched.
While whites benefited from Jim Crow, the whites, also, were trapped in the system. They were also forced to abide by legal segregation, and were subject to social pressure if they were too liberal (being called "n* lover," "white n*," etc.).
What led to the mindset that the end of slavery should lead to continued legal and social oppression of African Americans? It was part of white American culture. Lincoln himself said that he was not "in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry.... [T]here must be the position of superior and inferior. I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race." In 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes traded the end of southern post-war Reconstruction for the electoral votes he needed to win the presidency.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on March 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Any illusions about the freedom and equality that were alleged to have been given to African Americans in this country following the Civil War were just that, illusions. The reality of America's version of Apartheid was legitimized in 1896 in the United States Supreme Court with the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson. When the de-facto segregation that Plessy allowed was added to the de jure laws that followed, whatever emancipation had been promised was firmly repudiated. It is even legitimate to go back to 1877 when Rutherford B. Hayes and his party sold out, and swapped the presidency for the removal of federal troops from the south.
"Remembering Jim Crow", is a brilliant collection of first hand accounts of life under Jim Crow by those who were victimized by its laws. A large cast collected these verbal accounts over several years, and they accomplished no less than the preservation of a sinister part of this country's history. A time that W.E.B. Dubois characterized as, "living behind the veil". Combined with the book, "At The Hands Of Person's Unknown", which I commented extensively on, these two books, and if you choose the accompanying CD of the interviews, provides a wide, if horrific view of these eight decades.
These testimonies are also notable for the speakers who identify by name the people and families that victimized them. This is not ancient history that many would like to forget. These people who survived and speak of Jim Crow are alive, and so a presumption that their tormentors are alive is reasonable. The end of the book includes portions of a documentary that was made as part of this project with National Public Radio. Happily some of the whites that were interviewed in Iberia Perish in Louisiana remember and look with regret on what they did and did not do.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This slipcased book and 2-cd set supplements the written word with oral history, gathering the voices of men and women who were firsthand witnesses to segregation in the south. Stories by men and women from all walks of life reveal how blacks fought against the system, built communities, and ran businesses in a society which denied them basic rights. Remembering Jim Crow offers the reader a comprehensive, involving, highly recommended presentation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Jones on February 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting angle to present a sad era in America's history. This book does not give a history book type of fact presentation, it presents the facts from the people who actually experienced it.
This is a vital book if for only one reason, so that the children born after this era know what it was like so it is never repeated.
I enjoyed the oral history that is presentated and I would recommend this book if you want a greater understanding of this time.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By sobrevivo on November 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I wish that the reminiscences found in the oral and written compilations of REMEMBERING JIM CROW had never taken place in this country. But they did. These practices must be unearthed. These practices must be understood. REMEMBERING JIM CROW performs a yeoman service in bringing this injustice to the fore in the 21st century. Afterall, history which is not understood is bound to be repeated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adrienne Bennett on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have found in my travels that many do not know about the Jim Crow era "Separate but Equal." This book only solidified the stories I heard from my Great Grandmother during her childhood. I cried many times while reading this book. It is excellent and one of the best books I've read on the Jim Crow Era.
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