Jim Crow Laws


Jim Crow Laws Essay, Research Paper

Jim Crow:

the System of Segregation in

the South

Jim Crow: the systematic practice of promoting the segregation of the Negro peoples; favoring or promoting the segregation of Negroes.

Segregation: the policy or practice of imposing the social segregation of races, as in schools, housing, and industry especially discriminating practices against nonwhites in a predominantly white society.

The Jim Crow Movement was the single most influential factor that led to the immobilization of the black population in America from 1865-1950. This movement was a technique on the part of southern landowner, to get around the assurance of basic rights for blacks. This movement contributed to the invisibility of blacks in white society. The most detrimental effect was that on the education of black children in the South. Jim Crow hindered any effort made towards uplifting the black community. It allowed the government to completely neglect the educational needs of black children while cultivating those of white children. The system left black schools grossly unequal to whites in almost all respects. The conditions of black schools were substandard due to the over crowding, lack of supplies, poorly constructed schoolhouses and poorly trained teachers. This left millions of black children at a great disadvantage. As a last resort, many blacks moved North or sent their kids North to be educated in a better environment. Others opted to send to their children to the Penn center for instruction. Those parents who could afford to had no choice but send their children to public schools.

Penn Center was a Normal, Agricultural and Industrial training school for the black people.

For Blacks who could not afford to either send their children North to study or pay tuition at a private institution, their only option was public school.

One of the staunch supporters of Jim Crow Laws was the Ku Klux Klan, and the anti Jim Crow supporters were the Knights of Labor.

Ku’ Klux’ Klan’

(kluks’ klan’),

1. a secret organization in the southern U.S., active for several years after the Civil War, which aimed to suppress the newly acquired powers of blacks and to oppose carpetbaggers from the North, and which was responsible for many lawless and violent proceedings.

2. Official name, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. a secret organization inspired by the former, founded in 1915 and active in the southern and other parts of the U.S., directed against blacks, Catholics, Jews, and the foreign-born. Also called Ku’ Klux”.


From the 1880s into the 1960s, a majority of American states enforced segregation through “Jim Crow” laws (so called after a black character in minstrel shows). From Delaware to California, and from North Dakota to Texas, many states (and cities, too) could impose legal punishments on people for consorting with members of another race. The most common types of laws forbade intermarriage and ordered business owners and public institutions to keep their black and white clientele separated. Here is a sampling of Alabama.

Nurses No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed. Alabama Buses All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races. Alabama Railroads The conductor of each passenger train is authorized and required to assign each passenger to the car or the division of the car, when it is divided by a partition, designated for the race to which such passenger belongs. Alabama

Restaurants It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment. Alabama Pool and Billiard Rooms It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other at any game of pool or billiards. Alabama Toilet Facilities, Male Every employer of white or negro males shall provide for such white or negro males reasonably accessible and separate toilet facilities.

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