Skip to Main Content

Concluding Analysis: Lesson 4, Plainest Demands of Justice

To what extent did Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice become a reality for African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century?

  • I can interpret primary sources related to Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice in the first half of the twentieth century.
  • I can explain how laws and policy, courts, and individuals and groups contributed to or pushed back against the quest for liberty, equality, and justice for African Americans.
  • I can create an argument using evidence from primary sources.
  • I can analyze issues in history to help find solutions to present-day challenges

Directions: Sort the documents into the categories listed in the table below. Some documents might fit in multiple categories. Then fill in the table based on your groups. Include a short explanation for your choice.

Document Title and Date Laws and Policy The Courts “We the People” – individuals and groups
Ida B. Wells, “Lynch Law,” 1893 No help from government agencies in stopping or punishing those responsible for the violence No help from courts in trying those responsible for the violence Black leader highlighting common and abhorrent practice of lynching African Americans
John Hope, “We Are Struggling for Equality,” 1896
W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903*
Giles v. Harris, 1903
W.E.B. Du Bois, Niagara Movement Speech, 1905
Map of the Migrant Streams of the Great Migration, 1910–1930
Residential Segregation in City Zoning Laws, 1910–1911
Booker T. Washington, “My View of Segregation Laws,” 1915
Images of the Silent Parade, July 28, 1917
Chicago Race Riot Images, 1919
A Man Was Lynched Yesterday Flag (Replica), 1920–1938
Tulsa Race Massacre Images, June 1921
Racial Restrictive Covenants, Chicago, 1924–1946
Langston Hughes, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” 1926
Zora Neale Hurston, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me,” 1928
Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again,” 1936
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Underwriting Manual, 1938
A. Philip Randolph, “The Call to Negro America to March on Washington,” 1941
Bayard Rustin, “Nonviolence vs. Jim Crow,” 1942

  1. What methods did Black Americans advocate for and/or use in the struggle for equality and justice in this time period?
  2. How did segregation become entrenched during this time period? Why would this development make desegregation more challenging?
  3. What, if any, causes for optimism were there in the fight for the equality of the Black American community by 1945?
  4. How were laws, courts, and individuals and groups’ words and actions complementary and how were they in conflict during this period? In other words, did the courts and laws support each other, or did they contradict each other? Did individuals and groups work within the confines of current laws or policies or push back against them? Give examples from specific documents to support your answer.
  5. To what extent did the Founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice become a reality for Black Americans in this time period? Support your answer using evidence from the primary sources provided, as well as your own knowledge of U.S. history.