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SEGREGATION AND JIM CROW LAWS
Jim Crow was an early 1830's minstrel character by a white performing
artist who came to be popular with white audiences. After Reconstruction,
when the Southern states had introduced segregation laws, the Jim Crow
name became synonymous with them.
After the defeat of the Confederates in the Civil War (1865), the Southern
states had to be reincorporated into the Union (the Union or Unionists is the name the Northern
states adopted). This was known as reconstruction. 1865-1877 became known as the `Age of
Reconstruction Confederate Style
Ex-Confederate states introduced `Black Codes'. These were examples of inequality still faced by
African-Americans (AA) which included:
Economic inequality- AA not allowed to buy or rent land
Social inequality- AA banned from schools
Political inequality- AA not allowed to vote
Legal inequality- an estimated 500 white men were indicted by Texas courts for murdering
AA in 1865-6; not one of them were convicted.
Congress met in 1865; the North was unhappy with the South and their style of reconstruction.
Therefor Congress decided to enforce its own version of reconstruction in the South. This came in the
form of the 1867 Military Reconstruction Act. This however still had problems so in 1869
introduced the 15th Amendment. It stated that the `Right to vote should not be denied on account of
race, colour or previous conditions of servitude'. The 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified in
1868 and 1870. By the next year all Southern stated were readmitted to the Union. This was known
as Radical Reconstruction or Black Reconstruction.
During 1865, the segregation of schools, housing and public facilities quickly caught on. Segregation
became enshrined in law; the powers given to individual states under the
Constitution enabled the introduction of Jim Crow laws.
Between 1881 and 1915 many Southern states passed laws which meant the
separation of whites from blacks in: trains, streetcars, stations churches,
restaurants, theatres, cemeteries and churches. Whites were not allowed to
use black prostitutes; textbooks for use in white schools were not allowed to
be stored in the same place as for those for black schools.
Some examples of Jim Crow laws
"It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other in
any game of cards or dice, dominoes or checkers."
--Birmingham, Alabama, 1930
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Marriages are void when one party is a white person and the other is possessed of one-eighth or
more Negro, Japanese, or Chinese blood."
JIM CROW LAWS (1876-1965)
Legal black inequality, state laws in the south, government did nothing to stop them. Segregation of
blacks and whites in schools, public transport, restaurants etc.…read more