Jim Crow Laws Paper HIS/125 Jim Crow Laws Paper The Jim Crow Laws were as discriminatory as it gets when it came to race, as it separated what it considered inferior races from the white race. Of course, this was predominantly, but not limited to, a Southern set of laws that were enacted due to the freeing of slaves after the Civil War. For one to get prospective on this subject, it is essential to go back to the origin of said laws and why they were enacted to begin with. According to The History of Jim Crow (N.
D), “More than 400 state laws, constitutional amendments, and city ordinances legalizing segregation and discrimination were passed in the United States between 1865 and 1967,” (Para. 1). The severity of anti-black laws was apparent in how some of these laws were written and interpreted. One such law enacted read as such, “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,” (Pilgrim, Sept, Para. ). The Negro race was considered to be not only inferior to the White race, but nothing more than animals to an extent. This was evident in the fact that they were being treated as if they could not make rational decisions, much like an animal, which would do anything to get what it wanted. These types of laws were enacted in order to keep the White race pure and untainted, less the American population become corrupt and diminished in every aspect of humanity (not my belief).
There were many ways in which the African-American population was affected due to the Jim Crow Laws, such as segregated schools, segregated transportation, segregated eating establishments, separation of White women and Black males, and no rights while driving in a heavily white populated area. It seemed that the African-American was nothing more than subhuman at best; left to pick up whatever the White race would let them have. The absence of these fundamental rights kept the African-American population in the dark educationally, politically, socially, and economically.
This type of treatment eventually led to a movement, which would eventually establish rights for the African-American population. Ida B. Wells is one of the most influential African-American women in all of United States history, as she not only stood up for the rights of her people, but for that of women as well. Born in 1862, Ida was a part of an enslaved family of nine, which soon became six after a Yellow Fever epidemic took the lives of her “parents and youngest sibling,” (Baker, April 1996, para. ). Once this took place, it pushed her to step up and take care of her family, thus creating a fearless woman who would eventually take the plight of African-Americans to new heights. One of her first fights was over the seat she had onboard a train, which she was ordered to give up for a white man to have a seat, this eventually led to her being forcefully being removed from her seat and landed in her in court to plead her case of equal rights.
Though she won her first case, the Supreme Court of Tennessee overturned the lower court ruling and thus created a cascade of events led by Ida for not only African-American rights, but that of gender as well. Another great African-American who got the attention of a nation was Booker T. Washington. According to Bio. True Story (1994), “Booker T. Washington was the dominant figure in the African American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915,” (Para. 1). Born a slave, Washington understood the plight of post slaves and the African-American populace and thus became one of the most influential rights activists of all time.
Washington’s main theme, or idea, was that education would be the key to African-American success in the United States, and before dying, he had established a well ran school for Blacks at Tuskegee that schooled more than 1500 students. Later, a man by the name of W. E. B. Du Bois would come along and take the fight deeper into the core of fundamental rights in the United States. Not only would he take the fight in a different direction, he would turn his back on the principles handed down through Booker T. Washington. Booker T.
Washington was a pacifist of sorts, while Du Bois was more of a controversialist. It was the mentality of Du Bois, who had studied Sociology for numerous years, that respect and equality for African-Americans would only come through strife, thus inciting riots and protests. After looking at the types of mentalities associated with the struggle for equality, one can only surmise that African-Americans took many approaches towards equal rights. One of which would be protests, displayed by Rosa Parks, who, in protest, would not give up her seat and go sit in the Black section.
Then there was Martin Luther King, who led marches and gave speeches to anyone who would listen. Every move pushed for equality and the right to live like the white populace. Today, we can see the hard work of all those, black, or white, who contributed to the joint venture we now embrace today, as all races in the United States strive towards the same goals. References Baker, L. D. (April 1996). Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Her Passion for Justice. Retrieved from http://http://www. duke. edu/~ldbaker/classes/AAIH/caaih/ibwells/ibwbkgrd. html Bio. True Story. 1994-2011). Booker T. Washington Biography. Retrieved from http://www. biography. com/people/booker-t-washington-9524663 Davidson, J. , Gienapp, W. , Heyrman, C. , Lytle, M. , & Stoff, M. (2006). Nation of nations: A concise narrative of the American Republic (4th ed. ). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill. Pilgrim, D. (Sept. 2000). What Was Jim Crow? Retrieved from http://www. ferris. edu/jimcrow/what. htm The History of Jim Crow. (N. D. ). Jim Crow Legislation Overview. Retrieved from http://www. jimcrowhistory. org/resources/lessonplans/hs_es_jim_crow_laws. htm