Black Soldier Return Home (04:06)
With World War I, thousands of black men were serving as soldiers and others had moved north to work in wartime industries. It created a new sense of black confidence and success. Soldiers were dismayed when their patriotic duty was ignored at home.
Fight Against Racial Violence (04:13)
Racial violence increased after World War I in the north and south. The NAACP grew in numbers and increased its work to achieve civil rights. Walter White headed a task force that investigated lynching in the south.
Race Riots (04:14)
Tulsa, Oklahoma had a thriving black community in the 1920s, which angered the city's white supremacists. Black residents were violently attacked after a black man was accused of raping a white woman. More than 300 black people were killed, and the black neighbor was burned down.
Fight Against Lynching (08:22)
The number of lynchings soared after World War I. The constant terror of blacks in the south made civil rights groups, like the NAACP, change their methods. W.E.B. Du Bois viewed education as a way to escape racial violence.
Harlem Renaissance (02:02)
Du Bois believed everyone who could leave the south or attend college should. Hundreds of black artists, musicians, and writers moved to New York and created works about black life.
Sharecropping System (07:58)
Most Africa-Americans lived in the south and worked as sharecroppers. The price of cotton had declined, and black and white sharecroppers were trapped together in poverty. The American Communist Party, which supported racial equality, worked to create a sharecroppers’ union.
NAACP During the Great Depression (08:19)
In 1931, White became the head of the NAACP and turned its focus to more practical than ideological issues. To deal with the depression, the government ignored efforts for racial equality. Du Bois continued to argue that education, even within segregation schools, was the most important tool for black Americans.
School Segregation (08:12)
Charles Hamilton Huston became an attorney for the NAACP and traveled to white and black schools in the south to report on the differences. He wanted to show that separate but equal was discriminatory. Houston wanted to use the courts to fight civil rights violations.
First Step in Ending Segregation (04:35)
Houston selected cases that would help his larger vision of desegregating schools. Gaines v. Canada forced the University of Missouri to admit a black student to its law school because a separate but equal option did not exist. Houston died in 1950, before many of the important civil rights cases went to court.
Credits: Don't Shout Too Soon (1917-1940) (02:03)
Credits: Don't Shout Too Soon (1917-1940)
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