Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

The extent of racism in the USA during the 1920s?

I have a history assignment with the question:

"Examine the extent of racism in the USA during the 1920s"

I need to have half a page of notes which I will use to write an in-class essay.

Could anyone give me any help on this, or send some links with useful information?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

(It's due on 22nd April so no haste; just that here in Australia we have a holiday starting tomorrow, and I don't want to spend my holiday searching the web.)


12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Social Issues, 1920s

    The original Ku Klux Klan had died out in the late 1870s as post-Civil War Reconstruction was drawing to a close. A myth persisted, however, that the organization had been largely responsible for saving the South from corrupt outside influences.

    In 1915, a new klan was started in Stone Mountain, Georgia, by William Simmons, a Methodist minister who had taken inspiration from the favorable portrayal of the klan in D.W. Griffith's epic film, The Birth of a Nation. Emphasizing costumes, rallies and secret rituals, the klan grew rapidly in the South. The initial targets were blacks, whom many whites felt had been warped by wartime experiences. Black workers on the home front had earned respectable wages and expected the same after the war, and black veterans, who had witnessed a racially tolerant society in France, longed for a more accepting America. Perturbed whites believed the blacks had to be put back in their place.

    The appeal of the klan spread to the North and West, and at its peak in the mid-1920s achieved a total membership of four million or more. Members served in state legislatures and Congress, and were elected to the governorship in several states. Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Oregon saw significant klan influence.

    The central klan offices marketed regalia and literature to local units, but agendas were molded by community conditions and concerns. Blacks were the subject of klan activity in both the North and South, as were Jews, Catholics and immigrants. The klan also organized to oppose the teaching of evolution in the schools, dissemination of birth control devices and information, and efforts to repeal prohibition.

    Probably the majority of klan members confined their opposition tactics to parading and burning crosses, the latter an innovation of the new klan. However, violence was not uncommon — public whippings, tarring and feathering, and lynching occurred in many sections of the country.

    Serious concern about klan activity was raised early in its history, especially by a series of exposés in the Baltimore Sun and the New York World. It was, however, the conduct of a number of klan leaders that finally led to the group's decline. In particular, Indiana klan leader David Stephenson was convicted in 1925 of kidnapping and second degree murder. To get his sentence lightened, he implicated other Indiana officials whose corrupt activities were widely reported. By 1930, membership nationwide had plummeted to around 10,000.

    In the West and South, the second Ku Klux Klan comprised largely poor, rural and fundamentalist Protestant members who believed that evil came from the cities, non-Northern European immigrants and a postwar tolerance for loose morality. A more urban character was evident in the North. --------------- A hysterical white girl related that a nineteen-year-old colored boy attempted to assault her in the public elevator of a public office building of a thriving town of 100,000 in open daylight. Without pausing to find out whether or not the story was true, without bothering with the slight detail of investigating the character of the woman who made the outcry (as a matter of fact, she was of exceedingly doubtful reputation), a mob of 100-per-cent Americans set forth on a wild rampage that cost the lives of fifty white men; of between 150 and 200 colored men, women and children; the destruction by fire of $1,500,000 worth of property; the looting of many homes; and everlasting damage to the reputation of the city of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma.--------- --------------------- Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Racism In The 1920s

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    The extent of racism in the USA during the 1920s?

    I have a history assignment with the question:

    "Examine the extent of racism in the USA during the 1920s"

    I need to have half a page of notes which I will use to write an in-class essay.

    Could anyone give me any help on this, or send some links with useful information?

    Any help...

    Source(s): extent racism usa 1920s:
  • Violet
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Jim Crow Laws in the Southern States existed by de jure law. The reason for this was because the Southern whites felt that blacks had gained too much freedom at their expense since the Reconstruction era, and needed to be 'controlled'. The North and the West Coast of the U.S. doesn't have a segregation by law like the South but they do had a da facto segregation that prevented blacks from getting certain rights and same ownership as whites. Although many whites in the North and West Coast hated blacks, they don't believe in lynching as much as the South due to the fact whites in the North and in the West Coast didn't have a sense of grievance at a perceived loss of social rank from the antebellum period.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know about the 1920's but now I know that its pretty extensive in most every state. but from what ive learned in school over the years i'd assume it was way worse in those days for these reasons

    1. It was before the great depression

    2. Slaves could still be owned

    3. There was a lot of discrimination against blacks

    4. They got paid less for the jobs of a white man

    Source(s): History classes
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In Searching the news archive at Google for the year 1920, you come up with great headlines and news accounts that pretty much reflects the degree of racism in the country.

    One example:


    Evening Independent - Google News Archive - Jan 18, 1922

    Tolling n*gro*s out of the white section of the city rather than driving them out is favored by Mayor Frank Pulver. who is trying to solve the problem of ...

    Here is a clipping about something that is still relevant TODAY:

  • 1 decade ago

    Check out The Birth of A Nation. That film laid the groundwork for the KKK resurgence of the 1920s.

  • 1 decade ago

    Look at the women's suffrage movement. Southern White women refused to march in the scheduled marches if they would have to march alongside Black women.

    Black women got told "Its women first here, "Black" can come afterward. And there ALWAYS was this impression in everyone's minds that after women got the vote, that the rest of the civil rights cases would make IMMEDIATE progress, but it NEVER happened until the 60's... 50 years later!

    You could be refused service in a Whites only restaurant (in the Southern U.S.) if you were Black, even if you were a war veteran wearing your military uniform. "Jim Crow" (Jim Crow Laws) never made it up into the Northern states but do not mistake that for meaning that the North did not have the same share of racists as did the south. When everyone hears "Jim Crow era" they think of the South and only the South, as if the North was full of saints.... complete baloney!

    You go apply for a job and get told that there aren't any spots for blacks (even if they actually needed to hire someone).

    EDIT: Above poster posts that "Slaves could still be owned", this is incorrect. Slavery was completely phased out of the South at the end of the Civil War and was SLOWLY phased out in the border states after the Civil War. I'm not trying to attack you, just inform as I would expect you to do for me if I posted something incorrect.

  • no
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In addition to the rest of the answers, there was a Movie out called "Birth of a Nation" that the PRESIDENT of the United States (one who is held as a HERO by the LIBERALS in the country today) none other than Woodrow Wilson, said was the first ACCURATE move on American History. It is a silent film about 3 HOURS long! It is still out there and is the most racist thing I have ever seen. EVERYONE should see this movie, it will help expose many of the political people in the US today (and NOT just the "White" ones, remember that Wilson is a HERO and near "god" to the liberals).

  • Stuie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    it was the norm in the 1920s.

    it was seen as the normal way to see things.

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