For black people in the 1920s the experience was cruel and horrible that we dared to think of it happening today. After slavery was abolished in the nineteenth century there were more black people that white people so the white people needed to control the black people after fearing that the black people would take over the USA. So the white government at the time set up new laws and regulations to control the freedom of black people.
Some laws were that black people couldn’t vote, they weren’t allowed good jobs that were highly paid and no education that would have been useful to them. This meant that most black people suffered greatly in poverty in the twentieth century. There were also various anti-black people groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. The group was set up in the 1850s with the only aim of keeping the white people in control instead of the black. But the group became unpopular after a while as not many people took notice of their views as people at the time wanted to get on with their daily life.
But after ‘The Birth of a Nation’ a film that was made in 1915 people started to favour the group as the film showed how the Ku Klux Klan upheld the American values against renegade black people and corrupt white businessmen. By 1924 the group had at least 4. 5 million members all targeted at black people with one mission of disintegrating the black population of America. The black people of America at the time were targeted for crimes that they didn’t commit. This may have included suspicion of black people murdering white people, or raping white women.
The only punishment that was given to black people was lynching, which meant hanging them without facing a trial to clear them. Many people attended these including families with young children. This was America at its worst in treating others with respect. The lynching at the time has been described as shameful to the pride of America as many young white children clapped and cheered people that were hanged. Any and every black person was accused and they all faced lynching no matter if they were a young child to a full grown adult.
Racism, discrimination and prejudice was still high in America at the time with the blacks ending up at the bottom. The White Government did everything at the time to separate blacks from whites. This included having separate toilets and sinks from the whites, where the blacks had the filthy facilities to live with, separate education for black children, which was deemed as being fair to them; however the amount of facilities such as books and equipment were poor. Discrimination was so outrageous at the time that the black population had to live in poorer housing than the whites and still pay higher rents.
However in North America at the time the conditions weren’t as bad. Black Americans at the time had a better chance of getting a better job and education than those living in the South. In Chicago and New York the small black population was growing and encouraging black people to set up businesses and in the end they were successful. This was the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance, the birth of Jazz Music. As more black Americans took up these social opportunities of going to clubs and bars in Harlem, there were more talented black Americans that played a smooth music called Jazz.
Jazz music created many famous black Americans such as Louis Armstrong as the black Americans were the best at playing and understanding the composition of Jazz music. In a way Jazz music bought the two races together as more black Americans went to speakeasies where white people drank alcohol. The whites enjoyed the Jazz music and started to favour the blacks but it wasn’t enough to get the lives of black people out of the murk of racism, discrimination and prejudice in order to rebuild up their lives.
Courtney from Study Moose
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