Jim Crow Laws

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Laws passed to allow discrimination against minorities, and especially African Americans, during the late 1800’s came to be known as the Jim Crow laws. The origin of the term ‘Jim Crow’ is believed to come from Thomas D. Rice, an entertainer who colored his face to seem like a black man, and then introduced a song and dance making fun of the black man, calling him “Jim Crow”. His performance became very popular, and in the political world, the term “Jim Crow” came to symbolize discrimination against the African Americans. The Jim Crow laws made it legal to discriminate against blacks. After the passing of the first Civil Rights Act in 1866, African Americans who were born in the United States were considered citizens, and were supposed to be treated as equals. In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment granted black men the right to vote. However, in the political circles, all were not happy with this, and thus made it difficult, through the Jim Crow laws, for the black man to be able to vote. African American voting declined through the mid 1870’s due to its prevention from intimidation, violence, and murders by racist groups who believed and took action upon Social Darwinism. There were many Jim Crow laws that affected the lives of African Americans on a daily basis. Though unfair towards many, these laws became a way of life for the majority of people of the time. Some of the restrictions by the Jim Crow laws weren’t limited to African Americans though. Although they were meant to keep the blacks separate from the whites, and to prevent the black man from voting, they weren’t just aimed directly at the black man. Many types of businesses had to abide by these laws also. There had to be separate bathrooms, water fountains, classrooms, prison facilities, telephone booths, dining rooms, etc. Teachers that taught in schools where whites and blacks were both enrolled could be fined. Landlords renting to blacks where there were white tenants could be fined also. Hospitals had...
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