Video

Jim Crow

The term Jim Crow was started in 1828 when an entertainer named Thomas Dartmouth Rice performed a song and dance act modeled after slavery. He named his character Jim Crow.  The term came to be a derogatory nickname for blacks and a designation for their segregated life. From the late 1870s, Southern state legislatures passed laws requiring the separation of whites from “persons of colour” in public transportation and schools. During the Jim Crow period, a black person might begin a bus or train ride near the front, but each time a white passenger boarded the African American passenger had to move back a row.  Segregated water fountains were common during the Jim Crow period. To add to the long list there were also separate hospitals, separate prisons, separate public and private schools, separate churches, separate cemeteries, separate public restrooms, and separate public accommodations. In most instances, the black facilities were unacceptably inferior-older, smaller, less-well-kept, and less conveniently located. In other cases, there were no black facilities. The Jim Crow laws were in effort to prevent any contact between blacks and whites as equals.

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