Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Essay on Jim Crow Laws

Essay on Jim Crow Laws

The year 1896 was the time that the Untied States of America came down as a whole. Many people were hurt and confused by the Jim Crow laws. These laws were established in order or keep the blacks and whites separated in public places. Jim Crow laws made a huge impact on society in the 1930’s.

On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the idea of “separate but equal,” which was the base of the Jim Crow laws. This was the case of the Plessy versus Ferguson.

The United States Constitution did not allow many types of discrimination such as black people being mistreated. Therefore, the states worked around the rules to include Jim Crow laws without disobeying the United States Constitution. This made African Americans considered as the “lower class” citizens. Many people were judging the blacks because of their skin; they were not respected as human beings. They were also not entitled to vote in some states, take literary tests, or poll taxes. All over the South, “white” and “colored” signs went up. Trains, buses barber shops, schools, and other public places were segregated by law.

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All black people were separated from the whites when using public transportation. To sit on a public bus was an immense ordeal because the black people had to sit in the back seats while the whites in the front. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are few of the many people who wanted to stop the racist segregation.

Jim Crow laws existed between the end of the formal Reconstruction period in 1877 and the beginning of a strong civil rights movement in the 1950’s. Jim Crow Laws have not just effected the African Americans; it effected the white people too. Some people liked the racism, however, some did not. “Jump Jim Crow” was the name of a minstrel routine performed by Thomas Dartmouth Rice beginning in 1828 and widely imitated by other minstrel performers. Qualifications were often given up for whites through a Grandfather Clause. This allowed only men to be exempted from qualifications if their grandfathers were legally allowed to vote. Many whites were exempted, however no blacks were.

Many schools in the United States were also separating the whites and the blacks. The schools consisted of all black and all white schools. If a child went to school in the other races’ area, that was illegal. A major setback occurred for Jim Crow laws in 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled in Brown versus Board of Education and declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

It truly is a blessing that Jim Crow laws are not in the United States today. People should be accepted no matter what color, race, or religion they come from. Many people are still hurt and confused as to why it even started in the first place, I know I am.

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