Jim Crow Laws

Historical Background

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation symbolically established a national intent to eradicate slavery in the United States. Decades of state and federal legislation around civil rights followed. In January of 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution officially abolished slavery in this country, while the 14th Amendment, passed in 1866, set forth three principles:

     ●  All persons born or naturalized in the U.S. were citizens for the nation and no state could make or enforce any law that would abridge their rights of citizenship.

     ●  No state could deny any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

     ●  No state could deny any person equal protection of the laws.

Finally, the 15th Amendment, passed in 1869, outlawed the denial of voting rights due to race, color, or past servitude.

However, immediately after the Civil War ended, some states began imposing restrictions on the daily lives of African Americans, whether they were survivors of slavery or had always been free. By the end of the 19th century, laws or informal practices that required that African Americans be segregated from whites were often called Jim Crow practices, believed to be a reference to a minstrel-show song, "Jump Jim Crow."

With the Compromise of 1877, political power was returned to Southern whites in nearly every state of the former Confederacy. The federal government abandoned attempts to enforce the 14th and 15th amendments in many parts of the country. By 1890, when Mississippi added a disfranchisement provision to its state constitution, the legalization of Jim Crow had begun.

Jim Crow was not enacted as a universal, written law of the land. Instead, a patchwork of state and local laws, codes, and agreements enforced segregation to different degrees and in different ways across the nation. In many towns and cities, ordinances designated white and black neighborhoods, while in others covenants and unwritten agreements among real estate interests maintained residential segregation. African Americans were denied the right to vote by onerous poll taxes, unfairly applied tests, and other unjust barriers. The signs we associate today with Jim Crow – "Whites Only," "Colored"– appeared at bus stations, water fountains and rest rooms, as well as at the entrances and exits to public buildings. Hotels, movie theaters, arenas, night clubs, restaurants, churches, hospitals, and schools were segregated, and interracial marriages outlawed. Segregation was not limited to African Americans, but often applied to other non-white Americans.

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Language
State
Last Name of Individual
First Name of Individual
Group name

Jim Crow Laws: Rhode Island, South Carolina and South Dakota (c.1887 - c.1967) Code, Colored, Constitution, Descendant, Felony, Intermarriage, Legislature, Mulatto, Negro, Nurse, Ordinance, Penal Code, Public Transportation, Railroads, Schools, Segregation, Separate But Equal, Slavery, Statute, Supreme Court, Voting, Waiting Rooms

From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws. 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.

Jim Crow Laws: Texas, Utah and Vermont (c.1877 - c.1967) Code, Colored, Constitution, Descendant, Felony, Intermarriage, Legislature, Mulatto, Negro, Nurse, Ordinance, Penal Code, Public Transportation, Railroads, Schools, Segregation, Separate But Equal, Slavery, Statute, Supreme Court, Voting, Waiting Rooms

From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws. 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.

Jim Crow Laws: Tennessee (c.1877 - c.1967) Code, Colored, Constitution, Descendant, Felony, Intermarriage, Legislature, Mulatto, Negro, Nurse, Ordinance, Penal Code, Public Transportation, Railroads, Schools, Segregation, Separate But Equal, Slavery, Statute, Supreme Court, Voting, Waiting Rooms

From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws. 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.

Jim Crow Laws: Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming (c.1877 - c.1967) Code, Colored, Constitution, Descendant, Felony, Intermarriage, Legislature, Mulatto, Negro, Nurse, Ordinance, Penal Code, Public Transportation, Railroads, Schools, Segregation, Separate But Equal, Slavery, Statute, Supreme Court, Voting, Waiting Rooms

From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws. 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.

Jim Crow Laws: Summary of Dates of Anti-Miscegenation Laws by State and Relevant Legal Cases (c.1661 - c.2000) Asian, Black, Equality, Filipino, 14th Amendment, Indians, Interracial, Marriage, Mixed-race, Mulatto, Native American, Negro, State Laws, Statehood, U.S. Supreme Court, Unconstitutional, Weddings

The word miscegenation comes from the Latin words miscere (to mix) and genus (type, family, or descent) and has been used to refer to cohabitation or intermarriage between racial groups. Regulated by state law, miscegenation was illegal in many states for decades. A fake 1864 pamphlet written by Democrats to advocate interracial marriage was designed to be the work of Lincoln and his Republicans. (Didn’t work; Lincoln was re-elected that year.) 

 

Jim Crow Violence: Examples Race Riots and Lynchings, 1919(DE) - 1920 (c.1919 - c.1927) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Jim Crow Violence: Summary and List of Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1877-1967 (c.1877 - c.1967) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1866-1898 (c.1866 - c.1898) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Riots and Lynchings, 1921-1955 (c.1921 - c.1955) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1900-1910 (c.1900 - c.1910) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1911-1919(AL-CA) (c.1911 - c.1919) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Jim Crow Violence: Examples of Race Riots and Lynchings, 1965-1967 (c.1965 - c.1967) African American, Arrests, Black, Color, Court, Crowd, Discrimination, Fire, Great Migration, Jail, Jobs, Mobs, Negro, Neighborhood, Police, Rape, Segregation, Soldiers, South, Supremacy, Town, White

For 45 years after 1865, America entered the Second Industrial Revolution, which brought the rise of corporate industry and the robber barons who would lead the way to the American Century. But while America built itself economically and internationally, it adopted and entered the golden age of Jim Crow. One aspect of that golden age was the use of violence to destroy the advances Blacks made during the Reconstruction era. 

Summary of Americans All: Tools to Build a More Perfect Union (c.1986 - ?)

Today, Americans All remains true to its mission to honor the contributions that all immigrants, both forced and voluntary, have made—and continue to make—to our nation. A second goal is to help schools and small businesses prosper. Our 35-year-old nonprofit foundation’s education resources have been used in more than 2,000 schools and libraries nationwide, helping to highlight the values that unite, rather than divide, the American people.

Brief Biographies of Champions of Social Justice, Part 1 (? - ?) Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells Barnett, Cesar Chavez, Frederick Douglass, Ruth B. Ginsburg, Martin Luther King, Lewis, Marshall, Rosa Parks, Chief Plenty Coups, Jack Robinson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bayard Rustin, Harry Truman, Helen Zia

Social justice is a political and philosophical theory which asserts that there are dimensions to the concept of justice beyond those embodied in the principles of civil or criminal law, economic supply and demand, or traditional moral frameworks. Social justice tends to focus more on just relations between groups within society as opposed to the justice of individual conduct or justice for individuals. In short, Social justice means equal rights and equitable opportunities for all.

Racism101 (? - ?) African American, Anti-Miscegenation Laws, Black, Civil Rights, Colored, Discrimination, Intermarriage, Jail, Jim Crow, Lynching, Mobs, Negro, Racism, Reconstruction, Race, Riots, Segregation, Separation, White Supremacy

To start a serious conversation about institutional or systemic racism, we must first identify its driving forces and expose the continuation of these cornerstone beliefs (see below) in modern society. Our goal is to reinforce the notion that differences make us human, but respect for one another—a key to getting past stereotypes or politics—is the glue that makes communities work.

Timeline of Jim Crow Laws: Summary and Photograph Collection Maryland (c.1877 - c.1965) [See Civil War: Summary], Civil Rights Act, Colored, Compromise of 1877, Constitutional Amendments, Disenfranchise, Emancipation Proclamation, Great Migration, Protests, Reconstruction, Segregation, Vigilantes, Voting Rights, Whites-Only

After the Civil War, a system of laws and practices denied full freedom and citizenship to African Americans, segregating nearly all aspects of public life. The Emancipation Proclamation symbolically established a national intent to eradicate slavery in the U.S, but it only affected the states that had joined the Confederacy. The Confederates built an explicitly white-supremacist, nation-state, dedicated to the principle that all men are not created equal. Decades of state and federal legislation followed.

Jim Crow Laws: A Sample From Various States Maryland (January 1, 1877 - ?) American History, Colored, Discrimination, Education, Intermarriage, Marriage, Negro, Post-Civil War, Race, Segregation, Separate-But-Euqual, transportation, White  

From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws. 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.

Post-Civil War: Birth of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) Tennessee (May 1866 - ?) African American, Blacks, Carpetbaggers, Catholic, Civil Rights Communists, Confederate, Fraternity, Jewish, Neo-Nazi, Racism, Radical Reconstruction, Republican, Scalawags, Secrecy, Slaves, Terrorists, White Supremacy

Originally the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was established innocuously enough as a social organization by six ex-Confederate officers in the small Southern town of Pulaski, Tennessee in the early summer of 1866. Prior to 1868, the KKK essentially assumed a defensive posture aimed at protecting the white community from the perceived threats represented by Union Leaguers and the state militia. It quickly became one of the nation's most deadly domestic terrorist organizations. 

Civil War: Black Codes Summary (Pre-Jim Crow Laws) South Carolina (c.1865 - ?) American History, Apprentice, Civil Rights, Code Noir, Felony, Freedman’s Bureau, Legislature, Louisiana, Mississippi, Mulattoes, Negroes, Penal Laws, Slavery, South Carolina, Vagrant Laws, White Supremacy

Before the Civil War, Northern states prohibiting slavery enacted laws like the slave codes to discourage free Blacks from residing in those states. Blacks were denied equal political rights, including the right to vote, attend public schools and receive equal treatment under the law. In the first two years after the Civil War, white-dominated Southern legislatures passed their own Black Codes modeled after the earlier slave codes.

Jim Crow Laws: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas (c.1877 - c.1967) Code, Colored, Constitution, Descendant, Felony, Intermarriage, Legislature, Mulatto, Negro, Nurse, Ordinance, Penal Code, Public Transportation, Railroads, Schools, Segregation, Separate But Equal, Slavery, Statute, Supreme Court, Voting, Waiting Rooms

From the 1880s into the 1960s, most American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws. 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.