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The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
Jim Crow Stories
A National Struggle
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Lesson Plan 6: The Law and Politics of Jim Crow
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Jim Crow was not just a system of discrimination and segregation based on race; it was a legal system, backed by the United States Supreme Court in cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson and sustained by thousands of local states and ordinances. This unit examines the changing legal status of African Americans, the political violence that accompanied that change, and the legal challenge to Jim Crow undertaken by the NAACP and the individuals covered in the documentary series.

Grade Level:
Grades 9-12

Time Allotment:
Three class periods

Subject Matter:
African American History, Civil Rights

Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Understand Jim Crow as a political and legal system.
  • Explain the strategies the NAACP and other activists used to challenge Jim Crow in the courts.

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning

United States History Standard and Benchmarks

MCREL Standard 29, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands significant influences on the civil rights movement.

MCREL Standard 15, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands the extent to which social and political issues were influenced by the Civil War and Reconstruction.

MCREL Standard 2, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands that the consequences of human intentions are influenced by the means of carrying them out.

MCREL Standard 2, Level IV (Grade 9-12)
Understands how the past affects our private lives and society in general.


This lesson was prepared by: Thomas Thurston


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Intergenerational Discussion Guide
presents ideas and facts on the Jim Crow era.
  To download the Guide, you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat.  


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