Racial Segregation: Jim Crow Laws

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About a hundred years after the Civil War, almost all Americans lived under the Jim Crow laws. Segregation and Racism still continues in the US as it did in the early 1900’s. The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation laws enacted between 1876-1965. The segregation for African Americans intended to be inferior to white Americans. Some examples of the Jim Crow laws are the segregation of public schools, public transportation, restrooms, and drinking fountains. Even the U.S military was segregated. The Jim Crow laws have influenced many people in the U.S over the years especially in the 1800’s-1900’s. The Jim Crow laws have aided in racism. For example, intermarriage of a white with an African American was illegal. They had separate schools for which the two races attended. They had separate facilities for everything. The separations between the two races seem to make them hate each other. These racially enforced rules dominated almost every aspect of life, not to mention directed the punishments for any infraction. One race was seen better than the other. These laws made it impossible of having whites or blacks joined together in any way. Intermarriage was illegal and if there were biracial couples they were either talked about or scolded. There were so many boundaries that made it hard for everyone to get along. No one had the right to get into contact with another race. The key reason for the Jim Crow Laws was to keep African Americans as close to their former selves as slaves as was possible. That’s why the whites had newer facilities than the blacks. Due to the Jim Crow Laws, African Americans were given the status of second class citizens. The Jim Crow Laws can automatically take away the rights of African Americans. They were mainly used in the southern states between 1877 and the 1960’s. White people thought black people didn’t deserve respect. The Supreme Court ruling in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate facilities for whites and blacks were constitutional, encouraged the passage of discriminatory laws that wiped out the efforts made by African Americans during the Reconstruction period. They were laws that setup segregation. Railways, public waiting rooms, restaurants, apartments, theaters, and public parks were segregated. Separate schools, hospitals, and other public institutions, mostly of lower quality, were designed for blacks. Jim Crow laws have created racism in a whole other level. Because the laws and practices of Jim Crow varied from place to place, the scheme was confusing, and African Americans were careful to learn the racial ways of the locals to which they traveled to. African Americans could not always fight against Jim Crow because segregation could benefit some to the detriment of others. Still, the disadvantages of Jim Crow were far beyond the advantages, and beginning in the 1930s, African Americans took up a number of civil rights movements. Black colleges thrived, for example, but most segregated public elementary and secondary schools struggled with such low resources to prepare students for higher education.

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