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Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.All were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures after the Reconstruction period. The laws were enforced until 1965. In practice, Jim Crow laws mandated racial segregation in all public facilities in the states of the former Confederate States of America and other states, starting in the 1870s and 1880s, and were upheld in 1896, by the U.S. Supreme Court's "separate but equal" legal doctrine for facilities for African Americans, established with the court's decision in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson . Moreover, public education had essentially been segregated since its establishment in most of the South, after the Civil War (1861–65).
Racial segregation is the systemic separation of people into racial or other ethnic groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, riding on a bus, or in the rental or purchase of a home or of hotel rooms. Segregation is defined by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance as "the act by which a person separates other persons on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds without an objective and reasonable justification, in conformity with the proposed definition of discrimination. As a result, the voluntary act of separating oneself from other people on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds does not constitute segregation". According to the UN Forum on Minority Issues, "The creation and development of classes and schools providing education in minority languages should not be considered impermissible segregation, if the assignment to such classes and schools is of a voluntary nature".
The southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, Dixieland, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwestern United States and northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.
Southern Democrats are members of the U.S. Democratic Party who reside in the Southern United States.
The legal principle of "separate, but equal" racial segregation was extended to public facilities and transportation, including the coaches of interstate trains and buses. Facilities for African Americans and Native Americans were consistently inferior and underfunded, compared to the facilities for white Americans; sometimes there were no facilities for people of color.As a body of law, Jim Crow institutionalized economic, educational, and social disadvantages for African Americans, and other people of color living in the south. Legally mandated racial segregation principally existed in the Southern states, while Northern and Western racial segregation generally was a matter of fact — enforced in housing with private covenants in leases, bank lending-practices, and employment-preference discrimination, including labor-union practices.
Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".
White Americans are Americans who are descendants from any of the indigenous peoples of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa or in census statistics, those who self-report as white based on having majority-white ancestry. White Americans constitute the historical and current majority of the people living in the United States, with 72% of the population in the 2010 United States Census. Non-Hispanic whites totaled about 197,285,202 or 60.7% of the U.S. population. European Americans are the largest ethnic group of White Americans and constitute the historical population of the United States since the nation's founding.
The Northern United States, commonly referred to as the American North or simply the North, can be a geographic or historical term and definition.
Jim Crow laws—sometimes, as in Florida, part of state constitutions—mandated the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The U.S. military was already segregated. President Woodrow Wilson, a Southern Democrat, initiated segregation of federal workplaces in 1913.
Florida's Constitution of 1885, its fifth, was drawn up by the Constitutional Convention of 1885. The convention was held from June 9, 1885 until August 3, 1885 in Tallahassee, Florida "for the purpose of reforming the "Carpetbag" Constitution of 1868", according to course literature from the University of Virginia. It was Florida's fifth constitutional convention and restored the election of many public officials, reduced the salaries of the governor and other state officers, made the governor ineligible for reelection, abolished the office of lieutenant governor, and provided for a legislature of fixed numbers.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States into World War I in 1917, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."
These Jim Crow laws revived principles of the 1865 and 1866 Black Codes, which had previously restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans. Segregation of public (state-sponsored) schools was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education . In some states it took many years to implement this decision. Generally, the remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but years of action and court challenges have been needed to unravel the many means of institutional discrimination.
The Black Codes were laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866 in the United States after the American Civil War with the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans' freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt. Black Codes were part of a larger pattern of Southern whites, who were trying to suppress the new freedom of emancipated African-American slaves, the freedmen. Black codes were essentially replacements for slave codes in those states. Before the war in states that prohibited slavery, some Black Codes were also enacted. Northern states such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and New York enacted Black Codes to discourage free blacks from residing in those states and denying them equal rights, including the right to vote, the right to public education, and the right to equal treatment under the law. Some of these northern black codes were repealed around the same time that the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished.
Civil liberties or personal freedoms are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, either by law or by judicial interpretation, without due process. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may include the freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to bodily integrity. Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive liberty/positive rights and negative liberty/negative rights.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution. Executive acts can be struck down by the Court for violating either the Constitution or federal law. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions.
The phrase "Jim Crow Law" can be found as early as 1892 in the title of a New York Times article about Louisiana requiring segregated railroad cars.The origin of the phrase "Jim Crow" has often been attributed to "Jump Jim Crow", a song-and-dance caricature of blacks performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface, which first surfaced in 1832 and was used to satirize Andrew Jackson's populist policies. As a result of Rice's fame, "Jim Crow" by 1838 had become a pejorative expression meaning "Negro". When southern legislatures passed laws of racial segregation directed against blacks at the end of the 19th century, these statutes became known as Jim Crow laws.
"Jump Jim Crow" or "Jim Crow" is a song and dance from 1828 that was done in blackface by white minstrel performer Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice. The song is speculated to have been stolen from Jim Crow, a physically disabled African slave, who is variously claimed to have resided in St. Louis, Cincinnati, or Pittsburgh. The song became a great 19th century hit and Rice performed all over the country as "Daddy Pops Jim Crow".
A caricature is a rendered image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way through sketching, pencil strokes, or through other artistic drawings.
Thomas Dartmouth Rice, known professionally as Daddy Rice, was an American performer and playwright who performed blackface and used African American vernacular speech, song and dance to become one of the most popular minstrel show entertainers of his time. He is considered the "father of American minstrelsy". His act drew on aspects of African American culture and popularized them with a national, and later international audience.
In January 1865 an amendment to the Constitution to abolish slavery in the United States was proposed by Congress, and on December 18, 1865, it was ratified as the Thirteenth Amendment formally abolishing slavery.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865. The amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War.
During the Reconstruction period of 1865–1877, federal laws provided civil rights protections in the U.S. South for freedmen, the African Americans who had formerly been slaves, and the minority of blacks who had been free before the war. In the 1870s, Democrats gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures,having used insurgent paramilitary groups, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, to disrupt Republican organizing, run Republican officeholders out of town, and intimidate blacks to suppress their voting. Extensive voter fraud was also used. Gubernatorial elections were close and had been disputed in Louisiana for years, with increasing violence against blacks during campaigns from 1868 onward.
In 1877, a national Democratic Party compromise to gain Southern support in the presidential election (a corrupt bargain) resulted in the government's withdrawing the last of the federal troops from the South. White Democrats had regained political power in every Southern state.These Southern, white, Democratic Redeemer governments legislated Jim Crow laws, officially segregating black people from the white population.
Blacks were still elected to local offices throughout the 1880s, but their voting was suppressed for state and national elections. Democrats passed laws to make voter registration and electoral rules more restrictive, with the result that political participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to decrease.Between 1890 and 1910, ten of the eleven former Confederate states, starting with Mississippi, passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites through a combination of poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and record-keeping requirements. Grandfather clauses temporarily permitted some illiterate whites to vote but gave no relief to most blacks.
Voter turnout dropped drastically through the South as a result of such measures. In Louisiana, by 1900, black voters were reduced to 5,320 on the rolls, although they comprised the majority of the state's population. By 1910, only 730 blacks were registered, less than 0.5% of eligible black men. "In 27 of the state's 60 parishes, not a single black voter was registered any longer; in 9 more parishes, only one black voter was."The cumulative effect in North Carolina meant that black voters were completely eliminated from voter rolls during the period from 1896–1904. The growth of their thriving middle class was slowed. In North Carolina and other Southern states, blacks suffered from being made invisible in the political system: "[W]ithin a decade of disfranchisement, the white supremacy campaign had erased the image of the black middle class from the minds of white North Carolinians." In Alabama tens of thousands of poor whites were also disenfranchised, although initially legislators had promised them they would not be affected adversely by the new restrictions.
Those who could not vote were not eligible to serve on juries and could not run for local offices. They effectively disappeared from political life, as they could not influence the state legislatures, and their interests were overlooked. While public schools had been established by Reconstruction legislatures for the first time in most Southern states, those for black children were consistently underfunded compared to schools for white children, even when considered within the strained finances of the postwar South where the decreasing price of cotton kept the agricultural economy at a low.
Like schools, public libraries for blacks and Native Americans were underfunded, if they existed at all, and they were often stocked with secondhand books and other resources.These facilities were not introduced for African Americans in the South until the first decade of the 20th century. Throughout the Jim Crow era, libraries were only available sporadically. Prior to the 20th century, most libraries established for African Americans were school-library combinations. Many public libraries for both European-American and African American patrons in this period were founded as the result of middle-class activism aided by matching grants from the Carnegie Foundation.
In some cases, progressive measures intended to reduce election fraud, such as the Eight Box Law in South Carolina, acted against black and white voters who were illiterate, as they could not follow the directions.While the separation of African Americans from the white general population was becoming legalized and formalized during the Progressive Era (1890s–1920s), it was also becoming customary. For instance, even in cases in which Jim Crow laws did not expressly forbid black people to participate in sports or recreation, a segregated culture had become common.
In the Jim Crow context, the presidential election of 1912 was steeply slanted against the interests of black Americans.Most blacks still lived in the South, where they had been effectively disfranchised, so they could not vote at all. While poll taxes and literacy requirements banned many poor or illiterate Americans from voting, these stipulations frequently had loopholes that exempted European Americans from meeting the requirements. In Oklahoma, for instance, anyone qualified to vote before 1866, or related to someone qualified to vote before 1866 (a kind of "grandfather clause"), was exempted from the literacy requirement; but the only persons who had the franchise before that year were white, or European-American males. European Americans were effectively exempted from the literacy testing, whereas black Americans were effectively singled out by the law.
Woodrow Wilson was a Democrat elected from New Jersey, but he was born and raised in the South, and was the first Southern-born president of the post-Civil War period. He appointed Southerners to his Cabinet. Some quickly began to press for segregated workplaces, although the city of Washington, D.C., and federal offices had been integrated since after the Civil War. In 1913, for instance, Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo – an appointee of the President – was heard to express his opinion of black and white women working together in one government office: "I feel sure that this must go against the grain of the white women. Is there any reason why the white women should not have only white women working across from them on the machines?"
The Wilson administration introduced segregation in federal offices, despite much protest from African-American leaders and white progressive groups in the north and midwest.He appointed segregationist Southern politicians because of his own firm belief that racial segregation was in the best interest of black and European Americans alike. At Gettysburg on July 4, 1913, the semi-centennial of Abraham Lincoln's declaration that "all men are created equal", Wilson addressed the crowd:
How complete the union has become and how dear to all of us, how unquestioned, how benign and majestic, as state after state has been added to this, our great family of free men!
In sharp contrast to Wilson, a Washington Bee editorial wondered if the "reunion" of 1913 was a reunion of those who fought for "the extinction of slavery" or a reunion of those who fought to "perpetuate slavery and who are now employing every artifice and argument known to deceit" to present emancipation as a failed venture.Historian David W. Blight notes that the "Peace Jubilee" at which Wilson presided at Gettysburg in 1913 "was a Jim Crow reunion, and white supremacy might be said to have been the silent, invisible master of ceremonies." (See also: Great Reunion of 1913 )
In Texas, several towns adopted residential segregation laws between 1910 and the 1920s. Legal strictures called for segregated water fountains and restrooms.Jim Crow laws were a product of what had become the solidly Democratic South due to disfranchisement of blacks.
Native Americans, like African Americans, were also affected by the Jim Crow laws, especially after they were made citizens through the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. Native American identity was especially targeted by a system that only wanted to recognize white or colored, and the government began to question the legitimacy of some tribes because they had intermarried with African Americans.The Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) employed anthropometrists to determine the blood quantum of Native Americans in the South, and declared that the only individuals who could claim Native American identity were those determined to be half- or full-blooded Native Americans, making individuals even more vulnerable to Jim Crow laws. Native Americans who were part white or light-complexioned would often pass as white to avoid the persecution of the Jim Crow laws, while family members with reddish-brown skin could not. Native Americans in the South were especially affected through their education, as schools in the native communities, like black schools, were poorly funded; some Native American children attended "colored" schools. Immediate citizenship didn't change the views that White Americans had about Native Americans, and voter suppression was a tactic that was used against Native Americans in the South. States used five basic arguments in justifying the denial of voting rights to Native Americans: (1) failure to sever tribal ties makes Native Americans ineligible; (2) "Native Americans not taxed"; (3) Native Americans that are under guardianship; (4) reservation Indians are not residents; and (5) tribal sovereignty precludes participation in state and local governments. Jim Crow laws were carried over into the West; some states did not allow Native Americans to vote, or made it difficult for them to reach the ballot boxes. A disproportionate lack of access to voter registration was often made with Native Americans having to travel excessive miles from a reservation.
The Civil Rights Act of 1875, introduced by Charles Sumner and Benjamin F. Butler, stipulated a guarantee that everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in public accommodations, such as inns, public transportation, theaters, and other places of recreation. This Act had little effect.An 1883 Supreme Court decision ruled that the act was unconstitutional in some respects, saying Congress was not afforded control over private persons or corporations. With white southern Democrats forming a solid voting bloc in Congress, due to having outsize power from keeping seats apportioned for the total population in the South (although hundreds of thousands had been disenfranchised), Congress did not pass another civil rights law until 1957.
In 1887, Rev. W. H. Heard lodged a complaint with the Interstate Commerce Commission against the Georgia Railroad company for discrimination, citing its provision of different cars for white and black/colored passengers. The company successfully appealed for relief on the grounds it offered "separate but equal" accommodation.
In 1890, Louisiana passed a law requiring separate accommodations for colored and white passengers on railroads. Louisiana law distinguished between "white", "black" and "colored" (that is, people of mixed European and African ancestry). The law had already specified that blacks could not ride with white people, but colored people could ride with whites before 1890. A group of concerned black, colored and white citizens in New Orleans formed an association dedicated to rescinding the law. The group persuaded Homer Plessy to test it; he was a man of color who was of fair complexion and one-eighth "Negro" in ancestry.
In 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket from New Orleans on the East Louisiana Railway. Once he had boarded the train, he informed the train conductor of his racial lineage and took a seat in the whites-only car. He was directed to leave that car and sit instead in the "coloreds only" car. Plessy refused and was immediately arrested. The Citizens Committee of New Orleans fought the case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. They lost in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), in which the Court ruled that "separate but equal" facilities were constitutional. The finding contributed to 58 more years of legalized discrimination against black and colored people in the United States.
In 1908 Congress defeated an attempt to introduce segregated streetcars into the capital.
White Southerners encountered problems in learning free labor management after the end of slavery, and they resented black Americans, who represented the Confederacy's Civil War defeat: "With white supremacy being challenged throughout the South, many whites sought to protect their former status by threatening African Americans who exercised their new rights."White Democrats used their power to segregate public spaces and facilities in law and reestablish social dominance over blacks in the South.
One rationale for the systematic exclusion of black Americans from southern public society was that it was for their own protection. An early 20th-century scholar suggested that allowing blacks to attend white schools would mean "constantly subjecting them to adverse feeling and opinion", which might lead to "a morbid race consciousness". [ citation needed ]This perspective took anti-black sentiment for granted, because bigotry was widespread in the South after slavery became a racial caste system.
After World War II, people of color increasingly challenged segregation, as they believed they had more than earned the right to be treated as full citizens because of their military service and sacrifices. The Civil Rights Movement was energized by a number of flashpoints, including the 1946 police beating and blinding of World War II veteran Isaac Woodard while he was in U.S. Army uniform. In 1948 President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981, desegregating the armed services.
As the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum and used federal courts to attack Jim Crow statutes, the white-dominated governments of many of the southern states countered by passing alternative forms of restrictions.[ citation needed ]
The NAACP Legal Defense Committee (a group that became independent of the NAACP) – and its lawyer, Thurgood Marshall – brought the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka , 347 U.S. 483 (1954) before the Supreme Court. In its pivotal 1954 decision, the Court unanimously overturned the 1896 Plessy decision. The Supreme Court found that legally mandated ( de jure ) public school segregation was unconstitutional. The decision had far-reaching social ramifications.
History has shown that problems of educating poor children are not confined to minority status, and states and cities have continued to grapple with approaches. The court ruling did not stop de facto or residentially based school segregation. Such segregation continues today in many regions. Some city school systems have also begun to focus on issues of economic and class segregation rather than racial segregation, as they have found that problems are more prevalent when the children of the poor of any ethnic group are concentrated.[ citation needed ]
Associate Justice Frank Murphy introduced the word "racism" into the lexicon of U.S. Supreme Court opinions in Korematsu v. United States , 323 U.S. 214 (1944). (1967).He stated that by upholding the forced relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Court was sinking into "the ugly abyss of racism". This was the first time that "racism" was used in Supreme Court opinion (Murphy used it twice in a concurring opinion in Steele v Louisville & Nashville Railway Co 323 192 (1944) issued that day). Murphy used the word in five separate opinions, but after he left the court, "racism" was not used again in an opinion for almost two decades. It next appeared in the landmark decision of Loving v. Virginia , 388 U.S. 1
Interpretation of the Constitution and its application to minority rights continues to be controversial as Court membership changes. Observers such as Ian F. Lopez believe that in the 2000s, the Supreme Court has become more protective of the status quo.
In 1971, the Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education , upheld desegregation busing of students to achieve integration.
In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. This was not the first time this happened — for example Parks was inspired by 15 year old Claudette Colvin doing the same thing nine months earlier— but the Parks act of civil disobedience was chosen, symbolically, as an important catalyst in the growth of the Civil Rights Movement; activists built the Montgomery Bus Boycott around it, which lasted more than a year and resulted in desegregation of the privately run buses in the city. Civil rights protests and actions, together with legal challenges, resulted in a series of legislative and court decisions which contributed to undermining the Jim Crow system.
Numerous boycotts and demonstrations against segregation had occurred throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The NAACP had been engaged in a series of litigation cases since the early 20th century in efforts to combat laws that disenfranchised black voters across the South. Some of the early demonstrations achieved positive results, strengthening political activism, especially in the post-World War II years. Black veterans were impatient with social oppression after having fought for the United States and freedom across the world. In 1947 K. Leroy Irvis of Pittsburgh's Urban League, for instance, led a demonstration against employment discrimination by the city's department stores. It was the beginning of his own influential political career.
In January 1964, President Lyndon Johnson met with civil rights leaders. On January 8, during his first State of the Union address, Johnson asked Congress to "let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined." On June 21, civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney disappeared in Neshoba County, Mississippi, where they were volunteering in the registration of African-American voters as part of the Mississippi Summer Project. The disappearance of the three activists captured national attention and the ensuing outrage was used by Johnson and civil rights activists to build a coalition of northern and western Democrats and Republicans and push Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On July 2, 1964, Johnson signed the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.It invoked the Commerce Clause to outlaw discrimination in public accommodations (privately owned restaurants, hotels, and stores, and in private schools and workplaces). This use of the Commerce Clause was upheld in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States 379 US 241 (1964).
By 1965, efforts to break the grip of state disenfranchisement by education for voter registration in southern counties had been under way for some time, but had achieved only modest success overall. In some areas of the Deep South, white resistance made these efforts almost entirely ineffectual. The murder of the three voting-rights activists in Mississippi in 1964 and the state's refusal to prosecute the murderers, along with numerous other acts of violence and terrorism against blacks, had gained national attention. Finally, the unprovoked attack on March 7, 1965, by county and state troopers on peaceful Alabama marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge en route from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, persuaded the President and Congress to overcome Southern legislators' resistance to effective voting rights enforcement legislation. President Johnson issued a call for a strong voting rights law and hearings soon began on the bill that would become the Voting Rights Act.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended legally sanctioned state barriers to voting for all federal, state and local elections. It also provided for federal oversight and monitoring of counties with historically low minority voter turnout. Years of enforcement have been needed to overcome resistance, and additional legal challenges have been made in the courts to ensure the ability of voters to elect candidates of their choice. For instance, many cities and counties introduced at-large election of council members, which resulted in many cases of diluting minority votes and preventing election of minority-supported candidates.[ citation needed ]
Although sometimes counted among "Jim Crow laws" of the South, such statutes as anti-miscegenation laws were also passed by other states. Anti-miscegenation laws were not repealed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964but were declared unconstitutional by the 1967 Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia .
The Jim Crow laws and the high rate of lynchings in the South were major factors which led to the Great Migration during the first half of the 20th century. Because opportunities were so limited in the South, African Americans moved in great numbers to cities in Northeastern, Midwestern, and Western states to seek better lives.
Despite the hardship and prejudice of the Jim Crow era, several black entertainers and literary figures gained broad popularity with white audiences in the early 20th century. They included luminaries such as tap dancers Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers, jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and the actress Hattie McDaniel. In 1939 McDaniel was the first black person to receive an Academy Award when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.
African-American athletes faced much discrimination during the Jim Crow period. White opposition led to their exclusion from most organized sporting competitions. The boxers Jack Johnson and Joe Louis (both of whom became world heavyweight boxing champions) and track and field athlete Jesse Owens (who won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin) earned fame during this era. In baseball, a color line instituted in the 1880s had informally barred blacks from playing in the major leagues, leading to the development of the Negro Leagues, which featured many fine players. A major breakthrough occurred in 1947, when Jackie Robinson was hired as the first African American to play in Major League Baseball; he permanently broke the color bar. Baseball teams continued to integrate in the following years, leading to the full participation of black baseball players in the Major Leagues in the 1960s.[ citation needed ]
Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, houses the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, an extensive collection of everyday items that promoted racial segregation or presented racial stereotypes of African Americans, for the purpose of academic research and education about their cultural influence.
New Orleans, Dec 20. – The Supreme Court yesterday declared constitutional the law passed two years ago and known as the 'Jim Crow' law, making it compulsory on railroads to provide separate cars for blacks.
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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that American state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," and therefore violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, the decision's 14 pages did not spell out any sort of method for ending racial segregation in schools, and the Court's second decision in Brown II only ordered states to desegregate "with all deliberate speed".
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court issued in 1896. It upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws for public facilities as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality – a doctrine that came to be known as "separate but equal". The decision legitimized the many state laws re-establishing racial segregation that had been passed in the American South after the end of the Reconstruction Era (1865–1877).
Separate but equal was a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law according to which racial segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed "equal protection" under the law to all people. Under the doctrine, as long as the facilities provided to each race were equal, state and local governments could require that services, facilities, public accommodations, housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation be segregated by race, which was already the case throughout the states of the former Confederacy. The phrase was derived from a Louisiana law of 1890, although the law actually used the phrase "equal but separate".
Charles Hamilton Houston was a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP first special counsel, or Litigation Director. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, Houston played a significant role in dismantling Jim Crow laws, especially attacking segregation in schools and racial housing covenants. He earned the title "The Man Who Killed Jim Crow".
The civil rights movement (1896–1954) was a long, primarily nonviolent series of events to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans. The era has had a lasting impact on United States society, in its tactics, the increased social and legal acceptance of civil rights, and in its exposure of the prevalence and cost of racism.
Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, refers to the racial segregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation in the United States along racial lines. The term mainly refers to the legally or socially enforced separation of African Americans from whites, but is also used in regards to the separation of other ethnic minorities from majority mainstream communities. While mainly referring to the physical separation and provision of separate facilities, it can also refer to other manifestations such as the separation of roles within an institution. Notably, in the United States Armed Forces up until the 1950s, black units were typically separated from white units but were nevertheless still led by white officers.
The Reconstruction Amendments are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, adopted between 1865 and 1870, the five years immediately following the Civil War. The last time the Constitution had been amended was with the Twelfth Amendment more than 60 years earlier in 1804. The Reconstruction amendments were important in implementing the Reconstruction of the American South after the war. Their proponents saw them as transforming the United States from a country that was "half slave and half free" to one in which the constitutionally guaranteed "blessings of liberty" would be extended to the entire populace, including the former slaves and their descendants.
White primaries were primary elections held in the Southern United States in which only white voters were permitted to participate. Statewide white primaries were established by the state Democratic Party units or by state legislatures in South Carolina (1896), Florida (1902), Mississippi and Alabama, Texas (1905), Louisiana and Arkansas (1906), and Georgia (1908). The white primary was one method used by white Democrats to disenfranchise most black and other minority voters. They also passed laws and constitutions with provisions to raise barriers to voter registration, completing disenfranchisement from 1890 to 1908 in all states of the former Confederacy.
Disenfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era in the United States of America was based on a series of laws, new constitutions, and practices in the South that were deliberately used to prevent black citizens from registering to vote and voting. These measures were enacted by the former Confederate states at the turn of the 20th century, and by Oklahoma when it gained statehood in 1907, although not by the former border slave states. Their actions were designed to frustrate the objective of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1870, which sought to protect the suffrage of freedmen after the American Civil War.
The Right to Equal Protection is a concept that was introduced into the Constitution of the United States during the American Civil War. It is intended to protect the rights provided by the United States Constitution for all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. It is fundamentally based on the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, intended to secure rights for former slaves. The Constitution is claimed to uphold racial and gender equality, but until the 1950s, enforcing slavery, segregation, and gender inequality were major aspects of the history of the American federal government.
Desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools took place in 1956 after the United States Supreme Court ruled, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, that segregation in schools went against constitutional law. Desegregation of U.S. schools was part of the civil rights movement. The events that followed desegregation in Baltimore, were important to the civil rights movement across America. Recent scholarship has identified Baltimore's desegregation as an important precursor to the Greensboro sit-ins.
The Withdraw Car Act was a law passed by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1890 which required "equal, but separate" train car accommodations for Blacks and Whites. An unsuccessful challenge to this law culminated in an 1896 United States Supreme Court decision, which upheld the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation.
Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, 64 MCC 769 (1955) is a landmark civil rights case in the United States in which the Interstate Commerce Commission, in response to a bus segregation complaint filed in 1953 by a Women's Army Corps (WAC) private named Sarah Louise Keys, broke with its historic adherence to the Plessy v. Ferguson separate but equal doctrine and interpreted the non-discrimination language of the Interstate Commerce Act as banning the segregation of black passengers in buses traveling across state lines.
Black suffrage is Black people's right to vote. Black suffrage has been at issue in countries established under conditions of white supremacy. It may be limited through official or informal discrimination. In many places, black people have obtained suffrage through national independence. It should also be pointed out that "Black suffrage" in the United States in the aftermath of the American Civil War explicitly refers to "Black Male Suffrage". While women citizens, regardless of race, held rights to vote in some states, at the federal level, the U.S. Constitution was not interpreted to prohibit discrimination against women in voting, regardless of their race, until the passage of the 19th Amendment which was ratified by the United States Congress on August 18 and then certified by law on August 26, 1920.
Black schools, also referred to as "colored" schools, were racially segregated schools in the United States that originated after the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. The phenomenom began shortly after the Reconstruction era when southern states created public policies, otherwise known as Jim Crow laws, that legalized the practice of racial segregation to keep races separated and maintain white supremacy. In the United States white opposition to African-American success resulted in only the most rudimentary schools for African Americans, as proven by Gebhart v. Belton, lacking necessary state funding. It often took decades after the South established public schools for systems to offer education at the high school level.
The civil rights movement (1865–1896) aimed to eliminate racial discrimination against African Americans, improve their educational and employment opportunities, and establish their electoral power, just after the abolition of slavery in the United States. The period from 1865 to 1895 saw a tremendous change in the fortunes of the black community following the elimination of slavery in the South.
In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws were state laws passed by individual states to prohibit interracial marriage and interracial sex.
The American Teachers Association was a professional association and teachers' union representing teachers in schools in the South for people of color during the period of legal racial segregation in United States. In 1954 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended legal segregation.
This is a timeline of the American civil rights movement, a nonviolent freedom movement to gain legal equality and the enforcement of constitutional rights for African Americans. The goals of the movement included securing equal protection under the law, ending legally established racial discrimination, and gaining equal access to public facilities, education reform, fair housing, and the ability to vote.