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1. How were the Black Codes similar to and different from the Jim…

1. How were the Black Codes similar to and different from the Jim Crow laws that 
emerged after 1890? 
2. What was different about the terror wrought by the Ku Klux Klan and the terror of lynching 
that began in 1880? How were the two forms of terror part of the same continuation of 
white supremacy stemming from the days of slavery? 

3. Why do you think black men gained the right to vote during Reconstruction but did not 
earn the right to the land they had worked as enslaved people and which was owned by whites who 
had revolted against the United States during the Civil War? 
4. Why do you think the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments excluded black women 
from voting? Do you believe that the history of Reconstruction and Jim Crow might have 
been different had white and black women obtained franchises immediately after the Civil 
War? 
5. Some historians claim that the vicious lynching of African Americans that began in the 
The 1880s, with stepped-up frequency, was different from anything in the past because of its 
mob, public spectacle. What does this mean? Was lynching like a circus? How is this 
explained? 
6. Do you see a relationship between years of depicting African Americans as inferior 
people in the popular media, such as minstrel shows, and the ease with which blacks were 
lynched and deprived of their civil rights? How do you think this worked? Do you see any 
similarities to depicting people as inferior and the use of violence against them in other 
periods of American history? 
7. What was new about how black men were deprived of their right to vote after 1890 and 
how they were deprived of their vote before 1890? Why was the new form of 
disfranchisement more acceptable and easier to enforce thane older 
conditions used against blacks pribefore90? 
8. Why do you think it mattered to white people that the races were separated legally rather 
than by custom after 1890? What can you imagine the motivation to have been on the 
part of white people to want to establish a “color line formally?” 
9. What do you think the federal government might have done to stop the creation of a Jim 
Crow society in the South? Would anything have worked? Why did the federal 
government essentially stop trying to protect the civil rights of southern blacks after the 
Compromise of 1877? 
10. Do you think that you could have lived as a black person in the Jim Crow South? How 
would you have coped? What would you have done to survive? What would have been 
the most challenging thing for you as a young black person to have accepted or managed within 
Mississippi or Georgia at the peak of Jim Crow terrorism? Answer the same questions 
from the perspective of a young white person. 

 

 

 

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