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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A World War II Soldier Finds Segregation on Army Bases

Although over a million African-American men and women served during World War II, they continued to experience discrimination in the armed forces. In addition to being relegated to segregated combat units, often in service-and-supply capacities, [...]

Birmingham, Alabama Issues Racial Segregation Ordinances

This selection of city ordinances from Birmingham, Alabama, highlights the often absurd lengths to which local leaders in the Deep South were willing to go in order to maintain the strict separation of races. These "Jim Crow" laws, passed by [...]

Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
Examples of U.S. Laws Requiring Racial Segregation

The United States passed more than four-hundred laws, amendments, and ordinances legalizing discrimination and segregation between the years of 1865 and 1967. Nearly all aspects of people's everyday lives were governed by these laws including, but [...]

Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
"Studying insects in a classroom at the school"

Two photographs from 1941 show the glaring contrast between so-called "separate but equal" schools in Greene County, Georgia. In this first photograph, white children examine glass-encased butterflies in a well-lit, modern classroom. (See related [...]

Black Students Crowd into Jim Crow School in Georgia

Two photographs from 1941 show the glaring contrast between so-called "separate but equal" schools in Greene County, Georgia. In this photograph, black students must make do with antiquated, ramshackle facilities and, according to the original [...]

"People waiting for a bus at the Greyhound bus terminal"

Photographers working for the Farm Security Administration Historical Section (later transferred to the Office of War Information) were encouraged to document continuity and change in many aspects of life in America during the years the unit was in [...]

Map of Chicago's "Double Shift Schools," 1961

Chicago's School Board insisted that its overcrowded schools were not segregated and that there was no pattern of discrimination against black students. Activists in the 1950s and 1960s produced numerous reports that proved otherwise, documenting [...]

Item Type: Map
Map of Seattle's Black Population, 1960

Seattle's black population was segregated into the area known as the Central District through both de jure and de facto methods. Restrictive racial covenants written into housing deeds prevented blacks, Asians, Jews, and Native Americans from being [...]

Item Type: Map
A White Resident of Louisiana Remembers Jim Crow

Memories of Jim Crow and segregation in the South vary greatly depending on who's doing the remembering. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recollections of Southern whites who lived during the segregation era often stand in stark contrast to those of [...]

Item Type: Oral History
A White Southerner Remembers Segregation

Memories of Jim Crow and segregation in the South vary greatly depending on who's doing the remembering. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the recollections of Southern whites who lived during the segregation era often stand in stark contrast to the memories [...]

Item Type: Oral History