Racial Segregation

Stemming from the Jim Crow Laws

The Lasting Legacy

The Jim Crow Laws and their racial connotations spawned many unfair stereotypes that are still sustained today.


The History of Jim Crow Laws - Part 1

(1)

All southern states enforced the main Jim Crow Laws, but every state was allowed to create their own provisions. A couple examples of these modifications are displayed in the chart above (2). The main Jim Crow Laws were as follows:



  1. A black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a white male because it implied being socially equal. Obviously, a black male could not offer his hand or any other part of his body to a white woman, because he risked being accused of rape.

  2. Blacks and whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, whites were to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.

  3. Under no circumstance was a black male to offer to light the cigarette of a white female -- that gesture implied intimacy.

  4. Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public, especially kissing, because it offended whites.

  5. Jim Crow etiquette prescribed that blacks were introduced to whites, never whites to blacks. For example: "Mr. Peters (the white person), this is Charlie (the black person), that I spoke to you about."

  6. Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to blacks, for example, Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Ma'am. Instead, blacks were called by their first names. Blacks had to use courtesy titles when referring to whites, and were not allowed to call them by their first names.

  7. If a black person rode in a car driven by a white person, the black person sat in the back seat, or the back of a truck.

  8. White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.

(3)

Caricatures


N*****- short version of saying the black people are like Coons, Brutes, and many more different slurs. it was taken hatefully, but it has many more meanings. it is used against blacks that have certain negative characteristics such as:

  • Coon- black men; lazy, ignorant, and self-indulgent
  • Tom and Mammy- “whites” friends: unattractive, childlike, and neglectful of their biological families
  • Brute- promotes black men as being angry, physically strong, animalistic, and prone to wanton violence

(4)

-TD


Aunt Jemima: Today and in the Past

Originally was interpreted as a “Southern Mammie” in a play in the south, the character of Aunt Jemima was adapted into an advertising role for a self-rising pancake batter created by Chris Rutt (5). The character of Aunt Jemima was portrayed as the stereotypical black servant. Also racist stereotypical language was used in the ads. Today, the character is still used as an advertising gimmick for a syrup brand.


These photos show Aunt Jemima advertising throughout the years. The furthest to the left was one of the first advertisements for Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix. The one in the middle is an advertisement from when it began getting popular. The furthest to the right is today’s labels for Aunt Jemima products.



Because of its history, the Aunt Jemima brand has a lingering racial tension attached to its name.

(6)

-TD

Personal Experiences with Jim Crow Laws

Most people who were alive during the Jim Crow era were in some way affected by the laws. Kenneth Stone was a young black boy in Chicago, IL in 1963. Even in the free state of Illinois there racism was prevalent. Kenneth and two of his black friends needed a book that wasn't available at their neighborhood library. To get the book, they needed to travel to the library across town in the white neighborhood. On the way there no one bothered them, however on the way home, that wasn't the case. The 3 friends were chased by a mob of white teenagers. Luckily, they were defended by a couple of adults and made it home safely. However, just a few years ago, Kenneth said that he heard a story about a black boy walking in the same area he was back in 1963 and was mobbed by a group of white kids. He was in a coma from the confrontation (7).


Another first hand experience was recounted by Richard Hill. Richard was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, so racism was not as prominent as it was in the south. Richard had not experienced the real segregation until him and his family took a trip to Mississippi. There he saw the segregated bathrooms, water fountains, and entrances for the first time. He described the experience as confusing and eye-opening (8).

Current Events

The Trayvon Martin case is a very recent event that some believe had to do with racial stereotypes and discrimination. In the article, it said that many people were counting on this case to be different than any others, but it wasn't. A plethora of people believe that racism was shown in this trial. The author stated that George Zimmerman wasn't just the only one in the case, it was also racism and institutional racism. They found George Zimmerman not guilty for killing Trayvon Martin out of "self defense" (9).


There have been many other cases that have occurred non-stop in which people have killed a colored person and not had a consequence to deal with. People continue to fight for our country to maybe someday we will acknowledge racial profiling and its horrible consequences (10).

-TD



Sources

  1. National Park Service, Martin Luther King Jr. "Jim Crow Laws". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://www.nps.gov/malu/forteachers/jim_crow_laws.htm
  2. National Park Service, Martin Luther King Jr. "Jim Crow Laws". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://www.nps.gov/malu/forteachers/jim_crow_laws.htm
  3. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. "What was Jim Crow?". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm
  4. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. "N***** and Caricatures". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/caricature/
  5. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. "The Mammy Caricature". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/mammies/
  6. Judith Brown Dianis, "Just This Once: What We Need After Trayvon", Huffingtonpost, July 24, 2013. Accessed September 22, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-browne-dianis/just-this-once-what-we-ne_b_3644290.html
  7. American Radio Works. "Children of Jim Crow". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/remembering/children.html
  8. American Radio Works. "Children of Jim Crow". Accessed September 22, 2013 http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/remembering/children.html
  9. Judith Brown Dianis, "Just This Once: What We Need After Trayvon", Huffingtonpost, July 24, 2013. Accessed September 22, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-browne-dianis/just-this-once-what-we-ne_b_3644290.html
  10. Judith Brown Dianis, "Just This Once: What We Need After Trayvon", Huffingtonpost, July 24, 2013. Accessed September 22, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-browne-dianis/just-this-once-what-we-ne_b_3644290.html