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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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Tools and Activities
IntroductionVoting Then & NowRacial RealititesWays of SeeingJim Crow QuizShare Your ViewsExclusive Video

Unwritten Rules ... Unwritten Legacy Chose and Activity
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
Phone Call from a Stranger
True Colors

Then

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James Nix recalls learning an important lesson as a boy: Never, ever, insinuate romance with white females. If you do, his father warns, you could end up dead -- just like a man who was lynched for having a consensual relationship with a white woman.

Nix also notes that such warnings are not limited to family, but the entire community. Even his schoolteacher warns the students to avoid behavior that might anger the white community. White citizens, of course, faced no such consequences for inflammatory -- or even illegal -- behavior towards blacks.

Now

Listen to this audio clip

This audio piece includes an interview with an African-American couple, portions of a 911 call, and commentary. The audio comes courtesy of THIS AMERICAN LIFE (www.thisamericanlife.org), a Chicago-based radio program. This clip is from "High Speed Chase," the August 16, 2002 episode of THIS AMERICAN LIFE.

Somthing to think about
ArrowImagine the following hypothetical situation: A group of five off-duty African-American officers chases and shoots at a middle-class white couple.
- Do you think such a story would have made national news? Why or why not?
- Do you think the officers would have been punished for their actions? Why or why not?
- Do you think the legacy of Jim Crow is limited to the Southern states in which it was the official policy? Why or why not?

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