Jim Crow Laws Essay

1622 words - 6 pages

“Jim Crow Laws were statutes and ordinances established between 1874 and 1975 to separate the white and black races in the American South. In theory, it was to create "separate but equal" treatment, but in practice Jim Crow Laws condemned black citizens to inferior treatment and facilities.” The Jim Crows Laws created tensions and disrespect towards blacks from whites. These laws separated blacks and whites from each other and shows how race determines how an individual is treated. The Jim Crow laws are laws that are targeted towards black people. These laws determine how an individual is treated by limiting their education, having specific places where blacks and whites could or could not go, and the punishments for the “crime” committed.

What are the Jim Crow Laws? They are a series of rules and precautions that are directed towards blacks and do not always mean that black people agree with the Jim Crow Laws. First passed in the North, long before the Civil War, such laws were based on the theory of white supremacy. In the depression-racked 1890s, racism appealed to whites who feared losing their jobs to blacks. (A Brief History of the Jim Crow Laws). The Supreme Court decided that public facilities would be separated by black and white soon to be called “separate but equal”, 1896. Then two years later the court would determine that black men could not vote, the Southern states began to limit the voting right to those who owned property or could read well, to those whose grandfathers had been able to vote, to those with “good characters,” to those who paid poll taxes. Guess what, this meant that only one percent could pass these new laws. These laws touched everyone. Blacks and whites could not work in the same rooms, use different doors, look out different windows, water fountains, text books, even the Bible. “360,000 black men served in WW I, they were welcomed home with mass mobs and lynchings” (The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow). WW II, changed everyone. With Hitlers “Masters Race” it made Americans think and President Truman to action to promote racial equality.

The lack of education was an issue regarding black people because of their race. In Florida the Jim Crow Laws state, “The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately” (“Jim Crow Laws-Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site”). Due to the separation of the black and white school much of the money sent towards the school went to the white only school. This shows that the state did not want interracial schools and refers back to the thought “separate but equal” but not really equal. Although the thought was “separate but equal”, it doesn’t exactly mean people will follow that thought. In Concord, North Carolina, a black woman named Mary McLeod Bethune wanted to spread education for other black children. McLeod opened a school with any money she had and borrowed, for an all black girl institute in Daytona Beach. When...

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