Thursday, March 16, 2006

Jim Crow Laws

A brief touch on the African American history. History is the mistakes & successes, failures & victories, pain & joy, death & triumph of men down the corridor of humanity.

This is my take: An individual or group or nation's esteem is always a cause worth fighting for.

Starting in the 1890s, states throughout the South passed laws designed to prevent Black citizens from improving their status or achieving equality. These statutes, which together were known as Jim Crow, were in place and enforced until the 1950s and 60s. Here is a sampling of those laws, grouped by topic.

Separate rooms shall be provided for the teaching of pupils of African descent, and such pupils may not be admitted to the school rooms occupied and used by pupils of Caucasian or other descent.

It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided.

The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a Negro shall be null and void.

"Jump Jim Crow" is a song and dance from 1828 done in blackface by white comedian Thomas D. Rice. The number was supposedly inspired by the song and dance of a crippled African American in Cincinnati called "Jim Crow". The song became a great 19th century hit and Rice performed all over the country as Daddy Jim Crow. The tune was one of the first major examples of African American influence in popular music in the United States.

With time Jim Crow became a term often used to refer to African Americans, and from this the laws of racial segregation became known as Jim Crow laws.

The expression to jump Jim Crow came to mean "to act like a stereotyped stage caricature of a Negro".

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