The US Constitution states that everyone is equal, but many groups in America in the 1920s were not treated fairly. There was a great deal of prejudice against those who were not considered 'real' Americans.
In 1920, there were 12 million black Americans living in the USA with 75 per cent of them living in the south. Racial intolerance affected every aspect of their lives.
The experiences of black Americans in the southern states
Although slavery had ended in 1865, black Americans in the southern states suffered more discrimination than those in the north. This was because of the Jim Crow laws in the south.
The Jim Crow laws legalised segregation and helped to keep black Americans in inferior positions in society, politics and the economy.
Jim Crow laws
The majority of them were not able to benefit from the flourishing economy of the 1920s. Most black Americans in the south were sharecroppers who suffered when agricultural prices fell throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Three-quarters of a million lost their jobs.
Social customs emphasised the inferiority of black American in society. They had to enter a white person’s house by the back door, not look them directly in the eye or speak before they were spoken to.