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Jim Crow laws were passed, and most African Americans lost their political representation.Tenant farming and sharecropping systems constituted the de facto re-enslavement of African Americans in the South, where Hurston's novel is based. wrote The Leopard's Spots: A Romance of the White Man's Burden (1902) asserting white supremacy amidst supposed African-American evil and corruption.The book was so popular that Dixon wrote a trilogy.
But Killicks wants a domestic helper rather than a lover or partner; he thinks Janie does not do enough around the farm and that she is ungrateful.
Janie speaks to Nanny about how she feels; but Nanny, too, accuses her of being spoiled. Unhappy, disillusioned, and lonely, Janie leaves Killicks and runs off with Jody (Joe) Starks, a glib man who takes her to the all-black community of Eatonville, Florida.
Finding the small town residents unambitious, Starks arranges to buy more land, establishes a general store, and is soon elected as mayor of the town.
She says that he never knew her because he would not let her be free.
After Starks dies, Janie becomes financially independent through his estate.