Jim Crow Laws.
- Thomas E. Carney
The exact origin of the term “Jim Crow” is unknown; it seems to have originated with Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice, a white actor who appeared on stage in New York City in blackface makeup as the character Jim Crow, an old black slave, in the late 1820s. In the years that followed, the name evolved into a pejorative term for African Americans, emphasizing white-perceived deficiencies in their character, culture, and intelligence. In the aftermath of Reconstruction the term “Jim Crow” was further adapted to refer to those laws that separated the races and relegated African Americans to second-class status.
Jim Crow laws were state laws and local ordinances enacted primarily in the South from 1876 to 1960 that sought to segregate that is separate the races and to deny African Americans their civil rights These laws ultimately required separate facilities for African Americans at restaurants theaters hotels libraries ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.