Economic Life

Jim Crow drastically effected the economic livelihood of blacks in the South. The exclusion of blacks that Jim Crow demanded required blacks to create their own economic means of survival. As a result of this blacks all over the South had their own industry for goods and services that allowed them to get what they needed while also building a strong community amid all of the hatred that Jim Crow fostered and perpetuated. The black-owned business included grocery stores, banks, barber shops, doctors and dentists offices, carpenters, hospitals, restaurants and clothing stores. Although blacks were not allowed to shop where whites shoppe,d they did the best they could with what they had and created an entire industry of black owned businesses which flourished.


Bob Ray Sanders a renowned black journalist for the Fort Worth Star Telegram remarks on his birth in an all-black hospital due to Jim Crow,

” In order for Black mothers to have babies in those hospitals they had to be brought to the basement, so many black babies were born in the basements of those hospitals, that was how segregated it was then.”

-Bob Ray Sanders

Bob Ray gives an example of the effect of Jim Crow on the lives of blacks in the city of Fort Worth. His description of Dr. R.A Ranson’s hospital is a prime example of the adaptations blacks had to make in order to get health care. Dr.Ranson was also integral in producing nurses out of his nursing schools and pharmacists out of his pharmacy school creating opportunities for Blacks in the health professionals that were not readily available for them.

Majorie Crenshaw also talked about her experiences in Fort Worth at that time

“The black and white fountains, they had those in the department stores. You couldn’t drink any water, so your parents told you before you left home ‘don’t, don’t get down there and want water, and want to go to the restroom.’ They had a restroom for us, but it was always in the basement. They wanted you to be aware of the distinction .Your parents always told you what not to ask for.”

-Majorie Crenshaw

Black and White segregated drinking fountains

Her commentary provides a perfect example for the economic climate of the time especially when she mentioned that parents told their children what not to ask for which limited their involvement in even considering  that it was ok to be apart of the white retail society.

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