40 pages 1 hour read

C. Vann Woodward

The Strange Career of Jim Crow

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1955

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Key Figures

C. Vann Woodward

C. Vann Woodward was born in 1908 in Vanndale, Arkansas, a town named after his mother’s family. Woodward studied at Emory University, Columbia University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While completing his MA at Columbia University, Woodward met several key figures in the Harlem Renaissance movement, including W. E. B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes. After completing his PhD in history, Woodward served as a historian in the navy during World War II. Woodward taught at Johns Hopkins University from 1946 to 1961. In 1961 he was appointed the Sterling Professor of History at Yale University.

The Strange Career of Jim Crow was very influential, with Martin Luther King Jr. describing the book as the “historical bible of the Civil Rights Movement” (363). In the Afterword, William S. McFeely notes that the book sold over 800,000 copies and has never been out of print. Woodward is also well known for Origins of the New South, 1988-1913, which details the impact of economic forces on Southern history.

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By C. Vann Woodward

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C. Vann Woodward
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