40 pages 1 hour read

C. Vann Woodward

The Strange Career of Jim Crow

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1955

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Essay Topics


Describe and analyze the “Woodward thesis” of segregation and Southern history.


Identify and analyze the concrete steps—both legal and extra-legal—that segregationists took following Reconstruction to construct Jim Crow laws. Analyze how this case study proves or challenges Woodward’s argument that segregation developed unevenly and was not inevitable.


The Strange Career of Jim Crow spans the end of slavery to the rise of black nationalism. Through a comparison of two different historical moments, analyze either the rhetorical strategies or the primary and secondary source material that Woodward uses to build his argument.