Jim Crow Laws Research Paper

696 Words

“Every time I wheel about, I jump Jim Crow,” ends the infamous song attributed to Thomas Dartmouth Rice. Jim Crow was a character that the New York born entertainer appropriated from an African slave song in the early 1830s. Rice dressed in blackface and in doing so created the first minstrel show that became popular all over America. Jim Crow began to become a demeaning stereotype of African-American people, making white people perceive them as the act Rice performed. A few decades later, slavery was abolished in the United States. African-Americans lived among white people, free to do as they pleased. Some old slave owners didn’t believe in these laws and movements began to spring all over the Southern United States, such as the Klu Klux …show more content…

Many government officials supported these ideas and beginning in the late 1880s, they began drafting segregating laws that separated whites people from people of African descent. The ensuing impact would be felt across the nation. In 1899, a North Carolina newspaper the “Goldsboro Daily Argus “ran an article entitled: “How ‘Capt. Tilley’ of the A. & N.C. Road Enforces the Jim Crow Law.” This was the first mention of the racially segregating laws being called the “Jim Crow Laws.” The laws began affecting all aspects of life for colored people living in the South. Everything was segregated: schools, buses, water fountains and even bathrooms. Often the quality of these public facilities was lower than those offered to whites although the laws stated that the segregation would be “separate but equal”. Blacks suffered greatly and it wasn’t until the civil rights movement in the 1950s, that the laws were repealed as …show more content…

It is situated in the South of the United States at a time when the Jim Crow laws were firmly in place. In reading the first few chapters, you get the sense of the ways people lived under these laws. Many colored people worked as domestic servants for whites. Even a pretty tolerant family such as the Finches have a colored cook named Calpurnia. She is treated with respect in the household but she lives in an impoverished home in the mostly black neighborhood of the town, coming to the Finches only to work. The fact that many of the white people living in the town had ancestors who were slave owners is a testament to how angry whites now felt, once owning slaves and having vibrant businesses but now living in less than ideal conditions in the Great Depression. Scout and Jem’s life are also affected by the Jim Crow laws. The school where they go to is white only. Everyone on their street is white save for a few colored domestic servants. The fact is that at that time, all of this was considered normal. People lived separated from each other every day. Over time, whites had developed truly awful stereotypes about black people and the use of the “n word” is very frequent in the book. Jem and Scout were raised with the idea that black people could not be trusted as they were crazy roustabouts who lived their lazy lives in filth. However, the biggest way in which the Jim Crow laws are

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