The Stain of the Jim Crow Laws Essay

952 Words 4 Pages
In the years 1877 and 1960, and all those between, the United States practiced widespread racial discrimination in the form of the Jim Crow laws (Pilgrim). Under these laws, legalized further by the court case Plessy v. Ferguson, black citizens were made second class in all forms of social and intellectual life. Members of the black community were segregated to separate and unequal establishments, suppressed by both the legal system as well as their white neighbors (“Examples of Jim Crow Laws”). The use of these laws were to support white supremacy and to ensure the “purity” of the American people (Pilgrim). “Separate but Equal” was a term heavily used and more accepted after the case of Plessy v. Ferguson (Pilgrim). Homer Plessy of …show more content…
Anywhere one went, they would find blacks unwelcome where whites were. In restaurants that served both races, whites had to be served first and blacks needed to be placed in a different location within the building (“Examples of Jim Crow Laws”). Children of color were forced into separate and often subpar schools and even the water fountains had a racial requirement. Not only were businesses and other practices forcing these racist rules on America, but the other members of the community were accepting of these ways. Several Christian higher officials believed that blacks were destined to be servants all their life and that whites were the supreme race. African American males were among the most discriminated against. A black male risked public lynching whenever he did anything regarding a white woman. Men could not do anything that could be perceived as a sexual advance towards a white woman. This included but was not limited to offering a hand to shake, lighting a cigarette for her, commenting on her appearance or looking at her in a suggestive manner. These were ultimately to discourage and prevent interracial sex and marriage between a black man and white woman. This was to keep the “purity” of the white race from being mixed with those that were lesser. These were known as Jim Crow etiquette, another form of the Jim Crow laws (Pilgrim). The name Jim Crow began from a character featured in a song by Dan Rice in an act, and Jim Crow etiquette

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