Before the Scottsboro Boys trial, there was a similar incident in the 1920's with tragic consequences. Unlike the Scottsboro Boys, the men in this case were lynched. Jim Crow was not limited to the South. This occured in a nothern city, Duluth, Minnesota.
Jim Crow was not a person. Jim Crow refers to laws and attitudes that segregated white Americans and black Americans. Although the Reconstruction Amendments provided for freedom of slaves and voting rights, it had little change on enforcing equality.
This video, produced by California Newsreels, summarizes Jim Crow laws.
The Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 established the ruling of "separate but equal" and was the foundation of effectively legalizing segregation.
The trial of Tom Robinson in TKAM has many similarities to the real-life trial of the Scottsboro Boys. Harper Lee was a child at the time the trial took place.
Emory University Associate Professor of History Carol Anderson explains how the Scottsboro Trial was a miscarriage of justice and the legal changes that resulted from the trial.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded to promote and protect black Americans.