Beginning in the late nineteenth century, states passed laws to keep the races separate and to restrict the opportunities of African Americans. The system created by these laws was known informally as “Jim Crow.” More than a million African Americans fled the Jim Crow South, especially, after World War I, seeking opportunity in northern cities.
But some African Americans who stayed in North Carolina fought their way to success. In Durham, the black business district known as “Black Wall Street” was home to some of the largest black-owned businesses in the nation. Outside of Greensboro, Charlotte Hawkins Brown founded a prominent school for African Americans and won national respect as an educator.
In this chapter, we’ll explore both sides of this era in North Carolina — the system of segregation, and the African American communities that thrived in spite of that system.
- The Birth of "Jim Crow"
- A Sampling of Jim Crow Laws
- Triracial Segregation in Robeson County
- George White Speaks Out on Lynchings
- The Great Migration and North Carolina
- Durham's "Black Wall Street"
- Black Businesses in Durham
- The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Charlotte Hawkins Brown
- Charlotte Hawkins Brown's Rules for School
- 1912 Winston Salem Segregation Ordinance Enacted