Jim Crow's Legacy

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While the Emancipation Proclamation marked the end of slavery in the U.S., it did little to address the racism that remained. Left unchecked, that racism, like a weed, grew and its roots permeated almost all sectors of American culture spreading from the southern white population throughout the local and state governments south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Jim Crow laws provided legal loopholes that skirted the spirit of the Emancipation Proclamation and they gave legal cover to those who longed for the pre-Civil War/Reconstruction era. The insidious nature of Jim Crow easily converted bigotry and intolerance from vile vices to prized virtues. Although Jim Crow laws were settled by the 1954 court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, where all laws and public policy based on the theory of "separate but equal" were deemed unconstitutional; they were not fully eliminated until the mid 1960's, almost one hundred years after the end of U.S. Civil War and the beginning of Radical Reconstruction. During the Reconstruction era, politicians from northern states were moving south to take advantage of political opportunity in the south (McPhee) and court the freedman’s vote. This practice gave blacks increased influence over the political and financial landscape of southern districts, In essence disenfranchising the white southern elite. Disturbed by their dwindling authority, white southern business owners, landlords, teachers, religious leaders and lawmakers initiated and enforced Jim Crow legislation and etiquette (Shmoop). In an effort to circumvent the newly won freedom gained by slaves (Country Studies), Jim Crow were laws that created a legal, race-based caste system that operated primarily in the southern and border state... ... middle of paper ... ...ith abuse and humiliation, and without "Equal protection under the law" they will fester. Works Cited Country Studies. "Radical Reconstruction." Countrystudies.us. 09 January 2010 . McPhee, Isaac M. "Carpetbaggers and Reconstruction: American Opportunism in the Post-Civil War Years." 08 February 2008. Suite101.com. 10 January 2010 . Parker, Albert. "NAACP Appeals to the UN." November 1947. Marxist.org. 09 January 2010 . Pilgrim, Dr.l David. "What was Jim Crow?" September 2000. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. 10 January 2010 . Randall, Vernellia R. "Race, Racism and the Law: Speaking truth to power!!" 1997. Examples of Jim Crow Laws. 09 January 2010 . Shmoop. "Jim Crow in America." 2010. Shmoop. 11 January 2010 .
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