What Was Jim Crow And What Were Some Of The Strategies Used To Defeat It?

2401 words - 10 pages

The common misconception of Jim Crow that people have is that it refers only to the laws of segregation that were in place before the Civil Rights Movement, but that is only a fraction of what that term really means. Jim Crow was the time of extreme racism towards black Americans, the segregation of white and black people, and the mainly Southern mindset that blacks were not of equal status to whites. In order to beat that time, black Americans had various strategies for the Civil Rights Movement. Some of those strategies were to practice nonviolence, march peacefully, force integration by performing sit-ins, and to boycott what’s unjust. By using these strategies black Americans gained equal rights and America was changed forever.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, after the abolition of slavery in America, racism against African-Americans was still very much alive to the point where lynching black people was widely accepted by white people. Lynching is, “The illegal execution of an accused person by a mob” (Spartacus Educational). According to the Tuskegee Institute, between the years of 1882 and 1968, the total amount of black lynchings was 3,445 (Lynching, Whites & Negroes). Even though it’s illegal, it wasn’t viewed as a horrible crime like it is today. In that time, it was more of a source of entertainment and was a widely accepted form of punishment in America. People would even send postcards with pictures of lynchings on the front as if attending the event was something to be proud of. For example, the text on the back of a postcard with a picture taken at one of these lynchings reads, "Well John - This is a token of a great day we had in Dallas, March 3, a negro was hung for an assault on a three year old girl. I saw this on my noon hour. I was very much in the bunch. You can see the negro hanging on a telephone pole" (Without Sanctuary). Some people would cut the victim’s clothing or hair and they would keep it as a souvenir. Roger Rosenblatt, author of Confronting the Past, said, “That ordinary people did these things is deeply disturbing; that they manufactured a social rationale for their acts is more disturbing still” (Spartacus Educational).
Though not as extreme as the act of lynching, segregation was a practice in America that was disturbing as well. Places like schools, restaurants, theaters, hotels, cinemas and bathrooms had separate areas for black and white people. Oftentimes you would see signs like, “Whites Only” or “Colored Served in Rear” near places like this. If an African American entered an establishment that was for “whites only”, they risked getting beaten or even killed. Trains and buses were also segregated and had separated waiting rooms for white and colored people. Even though the Supreme Court declared that segregation on interstate railways and busses was unconstitutional, “…states in the Deep South continued their own policy of transport segregation. This usually involved whites...

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