The Jim Crow era was one of struggle -- not only for the victims of violence, discrimination, and poverty, but by those who worked to challenge (or promote) segregation in the South. Various individuals, organizations, and events played key roles in shaping the history books; equally important are the experiences of those who have lived to tell their own tales. These are the stories of Jim Crow.
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 laws from various states.
For millions of children, the American public school movement opened new opportunities. But millions of others were excluded because of their race or ethnicity. Segregated education was designed to confine these children to a subservient role in society and second-class citizenship.
As segregation tightened and racial oppression escalated across the United States, some leaders of the African American community, often called the talented tenth, began to reject Booker T. Washington’s conciliatory approach.
Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens.
In 1947, a major breakthrough of the color line in sports occurred when Jackie Robinson, a 28-year-old African-American ballplayer and war veteran, was brought up from the minor leagues to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The nation was divided at first. Many whites and nearly all blacks applauded the move and said it was long overdue.
The laws affected almost every aspect of daily life, mandating segregation of schools, parks, libraries, drinking fountains, restrooms, buses, trains, and restaurants. "Whites Only" and "Colored" signs were constant reminders of the enforced racial order.
The State of Tennessee enacted 20 Jim Crow laws between 1866 and 1955, including six requiring school segregation, four which outlawed miscegenation, three which segregated railroads, two requiring segregation for public accommodations, and one which mandated segregation on streetcars. The 1869 law declared that no citizen could be excluded from the University of Tennessee because of race or color but then mandated that instructional facilities for black students be separate from those used by white students. As of 1954, segregation laws for miscegenation, transportation and public accommodation were still in effect. -
The Great Migration was a massive population shift that occurred in the United States between 1910 and 1970, when nearly 8 million African Americans left rural communities of the South seeking greater economic opportunity and racial tolerance in cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and eventually the West Coast.
The year is 1940. You are in a '37 Buick, driving west on the Dixie Overland Highway. You plan to take it all the way to California, but as things stand, you might not even make it to the Texas border. For you are black, and you are deep in Alabama, and night is coming.
Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.
Describes the lives of African Americans during the Jim Crow years, a period of legal segregation and discrimination from the 1890s through the 1950s, including photographs and interviews with African Americans who were young during this time and other primary resources.
Stringfield was a pioneer in motorcycling during her lifetime; she rode as a civilian courier for the US military and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club in Miami, all while confronting and overcoming Jim Crow in every ride