Jim Crow Laws

Topics: Jim Crow laws, African American, Minstrel show Pages: 3 (1170 words) Published: February 23, 2000
 Jim Crow Laws

The name for the Jim Crow Laws comes from a character in a Minstrel Show. The Minstrel Show was one of the first forms of American entertainment, which started in 1843. They were performed by successors of black song and dance routine actors. The first Minstrel Show was started by a group of four men from Virginia, who all painted their faces black and performed a small song and dance skit in a small theater in New York City. Thomas Dartmouth Rice, a white actor, performed the Jim Crow Minstrel Show. Rice was inspired by an old black man who sang and danced in Louisville, Kentucky (Clay, 1). The skit ended in the same chorus as the old black mans song which was "Wheel about and turn about and do jis so, Eb'ry time I wheel about I jump Jim Crow." Rice's song and dance got him from Louisville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to Philadelphia and then to New York City in 1832. Finally, Rice performed throughout Europe, going to London and Dublin, where the Irish especially liked Rice's performance (http://www.sims.berkely.edu/courses/is182/paint167.html).

In the north, slavery was just about non existent, so blacks could be seen free in a lot of cities in the north. In some cities even, blacks and whites lived together without a problem so segregation was not seen completely throughout America. Before 1890, segregation was not seen in most of the south, which was where 80 percent of the black population lived (Massey, 17- 20).

Segregation actually started in the north, but when it moved into the south, it became much worse (Woodward, 17). It was thought that segregation came along with slavery, but there were more reasons, like pure racism. Cities had ghettos where all of the blacks lived in a community, away from the whites. After slavery ended, the north did treat the blacks with more respect, but not much more. In the north, slaves could not be separated from their families and they could not be legally forced to...
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