Betsey Brown Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 81 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Betsey Brown.
This section contains 1,008 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Betsey Brown Study Guide

Race Relations in the 1950s

Though Shange wrote Betsey Brown in 1985, she set the book in 1959, during the period of her own teenage years. The historical details of the novel are very significant, particularly as they relate to the issues of race relations and school desegregation.

In the 1950s African Americans lived in a society largely separate from whites. "Jim Crow" laws - in effect throughout the South and in other parts of the country as well - segregated public facilities, and blacks interacted with whites mostly as their workers or servants. One of the most significant arenas of segregation was in the educational system which, since the 1896 Supreme Court ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson, had been based on the principle of "separate but equal" facilities. In reality, facilities were not equal, and blacks received less and lower-quality education than whites, thus perpetuating their economic disadvantage when they...

(read more)

This section contains 1,008 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Betsey Brown Study Guide
Copyrights
Gale
Betsey Brown from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook