Jim Crow Laws

By Jenna and Kim

Intro to Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow Laws started,“in the 1880s, that legalized segregation between blacks and whites. The name is believed to be derived from a character in a popular minstrel song. The Supreme Court ruling in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate facilities for whites and blacks were constitutional encouraged the passage of discriminatory laws that wiped out the gains made by blacks during Reconstruction”.

What the laws mean

In the 1880s the laws were established, but why? They were established because,"Vicious overt racism was forever present in the South of the 1930s and for decades to come. Jim Crow laws and the system of white supremacy they upheld were in full sway, both backed by the US Constitution and local governments.(Aldon)" Even after the Civil War when African-Americans got their freedom, many white people still didn't treat them with any respect. The laws were established to maintain the "white supremacy" that was happening during the civil war.


While the Jim Crows were widely in effect, many African Americans began protesting against the laws with the help of other races. "The work force was taking action against capitalists and the state through strikes, sit-downs, massive demonstrations, and union organizing. Nevertheless, especially in small towns and rural areas, workers were having grave difficulties winning consensus from economic elites and avoiding the violence and intimidation used to keep them subservient.(Aldon)"
Jim Crow Blues- Leadbelly

How the Laws affected everyone

These laws did not only affect the African-Americans, they also affected other races too.“A majority of white Americans, regardless of their thoughts about slavery or the Confederacy, rejected the terms of full equality that African-Americans hoped would accompany their new status. Though black progress was nonetheless impressive, white racism severely limited it, and, by the end of the century, African-Americans were locked into subservient positions in the nation's economic and political life.”

What was life like after the laws were abolished?

Life after the Jim Crow Laws were abolished was better for African-Americans and other ethnicities. There were equal opportunities for every race because,"

With the end of Reconstruction came the end of an era of tremendous promise. Blacks had envisioned a complete restructuring of southern society, in which they would have the chance to demonstrate their ability to act as respectable and educated citizens of the republic and thereby convince whites to abandon their racism. The restoration of white supremacy came with serious costs for the South: the escalation of tensions between whites and blacks, political and economic backwardness, and rampant illiteracy and poverty.(Morgan)"

POP QUIZ! (true or false)

1) The Jim Crow Laws were established in the 1880s T/F

2) The Jim Crow Laws legalized segregation between blacks and whites T/F

3) The South was generally accepting to Black people T/F

4) The name 'Jim Crow Laws' comes from the popular book T/F

5) In 1896, Plessy vs. Ferguson did not separate facilities to Black and White T/F

Answers to the quiz

1) T

2) T

3) F, They were not, racism was still prominent

4) F, the name came from the popular minstrel song

5) F, Plessy vs. Ferguson separated facilities

Works Cited

"Jim Crow Laws." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2013): 1. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.,

Morris, Aldon. "Introduction: Education For Liberation." Social Policy 21.3 (1991): 2-6. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Apr. 2013,,

Google Images,

"Free But Not Equal." The Civil War. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, 1999. American Journey. Student Resources In Context. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.