The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow by Richard WormserBetween 1880 and 1954, African Americans dedicated their energies, and sometimes their lives, to defeating segregation. During these times, characterized by some as “worse than slavery,” African Americans fought the status quo, acquiring education and land and building businesses, churches, and communities, despite laws designed to segregate and disenfranchise them. White supremacy prevailed, but did not destroy, the spirit of the black community.
Incorporating anecdotes, the exploits of individuals, first-person accounts, and never- before-seen images and graphics, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow is the story of the African American struggle for freedom following the end of the Civil War. A companion volume to the four-part PBS television series, which took seven years to write, research, and edit, the book documents the work of such figures as the activist and separatist Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells, and W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. It examines the emergence of the black middle class and intellectual elite, and the birth of the NAACP.
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow also tells the stories of ordinary heroes who accomplished extraordinary things: Charlotte Hawkins Brown, a teacher who founded the Palmer Memorial Institute, a private black high school in North Carolina; Ned Cobb, a tenant farmer in Alabama who became a union organizer; Isaiah Montgomery, who founded Mound Bayou, an all-black town in Mississippi; Charles Evers, brother of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who fought for voter registration in Mississippi in the 1940s. And Barbara Johns, a sixteen-year-old Virginia student who organized a student strike in 1951. The strike led to a lawsuit that became one of the five cases the United States Supreme Court reviewed when it declared segregation in education illegal.
As the twenty-first century rolls forward, we are losing the remaining survivors of this pivotal era. Rich in historical commentary and eyewitness testimony by blacks and whites who lived through the period, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow is a poignant record of a time when indignity and terror constantly faced off against courage and accomplishment.
Jim Crow laws
As Reconstruction ended, the efforts of African Americans to assert their rights began to be repressed. Whites succeeded in passing laws that segregated and disenfranchised African Americans, which they enforced with violence. This era, and the laws that defined it, is called Jim Crow. Promises Betrayed The first episode begins with the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction—periods that held so much promise for free black men and women. But as the North gradually withdrew its support for black aspirations for land, civil and political rights, and legal due process, Southern whites succeeded in passing laws that segregated and disenfranchised African Americans--laws that were reinforced with violence and terror.
The segregation and disenfranchisement laws known as "Jim Crow" represented a formal, codified system of racial apartheid that dominated the American South for three quarters of a century beginning in the s. The laws affected almost every aspect of daily life, mandating segregation of schools, parks, libraries, drinking fountains, restrooms, buses, trains, and restaurants. In legal theory, blacks received "separate but equal" treatment under the law — in actuality, public facilities for blacks were nearly always inferior to those for whites, when they existed at all. In addition, blacks were systematically denied the right to vote in most of the rural South through the selective application of literacy tests and other racially motivated criteria. The Jim Crow system was upheld by local government officials and reinforced by acts of terror perpetrated by Vigilantes. Ferguson , after a black man in New Orleans attempted to sit in a whites-only railway car. In , journalist Ray Stannard Baker observed that "no other point of race contact is so much and so bitterly discussed among Negroes as the Jim Crow car.
Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. Supreme Court's " separate but equal " legal doctrine for facilities for African Americans, established with the court's decision in the case of Plessy vs. Moreover, public education had essentially been segregated since its establishment in most of the South, after the Civil War — The legal principle of "separate, but equal" racial segregation was extended to public facilities and transportation, including the coaches of interstate trains and buses. Facilities for African Americans and Native Americans were consistently inferior and underfunded, compared to the facilities for white Americans ; sometimes there were no facilities for people of color. Jim Crow laws—sometimes, as in Florida , part of state constitutions—mandated the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The U.
Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after an insulting song lyric regarding African Americans, the laws—which existed for about years, from the post-Civil War era until —were meant to return Southern states to an antebellum class structure by marginalizing black Americans. Black communities and individuals that attempted to defy Jim Crow laws often met with violence and death. The roots of Jim Crow laws began as early as , immediately following the ratification of the 13th Amendment freeing four million slaves. Black codes were strict laws detailing when, where and how freed slaves could work, and for how much compensation.