A glimpse at Jim Crow--where we have been and where we should be going
When I was a little girl, my mother warned me that some segments of society wanted me to have low expectations to decrease my potential to shine. "Jim Crow," she said.
"Controlling competition controls society," she said. "Keeping you out by any means possible could ensure a place for their own. So, enforcing low expectations among certain people is a ploy of Jim Crow."
My mother's expectations for me were very high--higher than I thought I could achieve. She wanted me to spend part of my summer reading books she brought home. Then I had to travel to some other part of the country to see different things. She made me write letters to relatives and collect the stamps on their return mail. At the time, I had no idea why she was torturing me so with piano lessons, dancing classes, tennis, swimming, etiquette, correct language usage, good grades.
"High expectations for yourself are the only way you can conquer racism."
"I can change racism?" I asked.
"No," she yelled. "Did I say you could change racism? You can't change racism!"
"Then what?" I asked.
"You have to out-spell, out-read, out-write, out-speak and out-everything else better than you think you can, if you want to get somewhere in this low-down, crooked, one-sided Jim Crow racist system," she said. "If you don't, out-do what you think you can do, you will be forever trying to fight your way up with no weapons! And that is how you conquer racism!
This video, a Book Trailer for my book, Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's, about life with my part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement, is for those who want a glimpse of the Jim Crow past in order to learn from it. My book was recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations and recommended by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida for Native American collections. Views have reached 4,481. I would appreciate you helping the views climb to 5,000 before the end of the year. Thank you.
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Sunny Nash is an author, producer, photographer and leading writer on U.S. race relations.
Sunny Nash writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking. Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement.