African Americans and Jim Crow: Repression and Protest, 1883-1922
From the Library Company of Philadelphia’s acclaimed Afro-Americana Collection

Quick Facts

  • More than 1,000 fully searchable printed works covering the pivotal post-Reconstruction period
  • The most significant works by and about African Americans from the beginning of Jim Crow to post-World War I
  • New perspectives on African-American culture, rights and daily life during a time of segregation and disenfranchisement


African Americans and Jim Crow: Repression and Protest offers more than 1,000 fully searchable printed works critical for insight into African-American culture and life from the beginning of Jim Crow to World War I and beyond. In the previous period—from the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction to the year 1883—newly freed blacks in the United States witnessed significant gains. Progress, however, was short-lived. Through the development of Jim Crow laws and numerous other acts hostile to their interests, the rights of African Americans were systematically stripped away.

In 1883 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be invalid. The decision—known as “The Civil Rights Cases” because it involved five separate proceedings—declared the federal government cannot keep businesses or individuals from discriminating on the basis of race. The Court’s decision severely restricted the power of the federal government to guarantee equal status under the law to African Americans. In addition, certain states adopted new statutes establishing racial segregation, thereby legalizing the treatment of African Americans as second-class citizens. The 1883 decision ultimately led to the enactment of Jim Crow laws that codified racial segregation in many U.S. states.

The years 1883 to 1922: Reversal of hard-earned gains
African Americans and Jim Crow consolidates many of the most noteworthy works by and about African Americans during a pivotal period of segregation and disenfranchisement. Capturing voices of, by, for, and about African Americans, this one-of-a-kind digital resource covers such critically important subjects as the evolution of African-American identity; eyewitness accounts of African-American life throughout the United States; relationships between African Americans and peoples of other nations; race in literature; and official reports on the changing status of African Americans. Also included are important printed works of African-American individuals and organizations and numerous works of fiction, poetry and drama.

New opportunities for scholars, students and teachers
African Americans and Jim Crow offers a comprehensive survey of the black experience during the period from post-Reconstruction through the early 1920s. Using this multifaceted collection researchers can easily uncover patterns of thought and compare points of view comprehensively. Students will find numerous new topics for term papers, group study and oral presentations, and teachers and faculty will discover multiple paths for clasroom study. And by using helpful features such as “Suggested Searches,” users at all levels can drill into the content by topic, time period, theme or subject matter.

The Library Company of Philadelphia and its Afro-Americana collection
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Both African Americans and Jim Crow and its companion collection, African Americans and Reconstruction, were created from the Library Company’s renowned collection of Afro-Americana, also available from Readex in digital form. The magisterial bibliography Afro-Americana 1553-1906 provides the bibliographic control for these collections.


“The Library Company’s resources in early African American history are unsurpassed and they have remained at the center of my academic and professional life for nearly 25 years. As a scholar of black protest in the 18th and 19th centuries, I returned again and again to the wonders of the African Americana Collection, a world-class repository of black life and thought that has inspired countless historical books, articles and even novels. As an educator who ran a series of summer seminars focusing on African American history, I watched a myriad undergraduate scholars and secondary school teachers draw inspiration…from the African Americana Collection...”
— Richard S. Newman, Professor of History, Rochester Institute of Technology, and biographer of African Methodist Episcopal Church founder Richard Allen



“African Americans and Jim Crow: Repression and Protest, 1883-1922 (AAJCRP)…is one of two digital products offering curated archival primary source materials from the exemplary Afro-Americana Imprints 1535-1922 collection, from the Library Company of Philadelphia that traces its origins to the efforts of Benjamin Franklin and serves as America’s oldest cultural institution. Of great value and appeal to undergraduates, graduates, and researchers of history and African American studies, this collection highlights primary source materials from the implementation of the Jim Crow laws through World War I and the first half of the segregation era. AAJCRP includes a diverse set of documents like pamphlets, maps, legislative materials, poetry, drama, religious materials, biographies, and more. This wealth of varied materials will have value to scholars and students across the humanities.”
— Michael DeNotto, Hope College, in ccAdvisor (January 2018)


For more information, contact a Readex representative by calling 800.762.8182 or by using our easy contact form.

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