About the Author

Katherine Mellen Charron is an Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University. She is the author of the award-winning Freedom's Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark (UNC Press, 2009), and the co-editor of Recollections of My Slavery Days by William Henry Singleton (1999). Her teaching and research interests include African American, Women's, and Southern history.

Jim Crow Segregation: The Difficult and Anti-Democratic Work of White Supremacy

"'Colored' Gets Three Years -- 'White' Gets Thirty Days" (1918)


This newspaper clipping shows the racial disparity that prevailed in the Southern judicial system under segregation. It can serve as an introduction for discussions of discrimination in contemporary judicial practices that continue to disproportionately imprison people of color today.

"'Colored' Gets Three Years — 'White' Gets Thirty Days."
Columbia, S.C. — The peculiar workings of justice in Southland when Jas. Davenport, Colored, was sentenced to three years at hard labor for stealing a bicycle, and Clarence D. Gould, white, was sentenced to thirty days in the county hail for stealing an automobile.
Both sentences were imposed the same day and in the same court room — Judge Memminger presiding. Both men were found guilty of stealing.


“'Colored' Gets Three Years -- 'White' Gets Thirty Days.” Cleveland Advocate. February 2, 1918. From the the Ohio Historical Society. Accessed March 20, 2011.