The Jim Crow Laws were named after a character from a black minstrel show and they were effective for an entire century. These 100 years of injustice against the African American race were highlighted by these unfair, and inhumane rules.
The Jim Crow laws were put into place to marginalize the black community and they denied African American individuals from having even the most basic rights.
The Jim Crow laws took away the right of African Americans to:
- Hold jobs
- Get an education
- Defend themselves from unfair lawsuits
- Go to public parks
- Attend schools, restaurants, bus stops, and other such areas unless they were segregated
- Live in certain neighborhoods
- Marry people of other races
Anyone who attempted to defy these laws would be arrested, fined, given long jail sentences, be beaten brutally, or even be killed. When the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865, slavery was abolished but black codes came out indicating what the now-free slaves could do and what they were not allowed to do.
It was in the 1880s that the Jim Crow laws began to loosen, especially in the cities and African American individuals finally began to start experiencing freedom the way every human being deserves. However, this much-deserved freedom was short-lived as people in the city began to feel ‘uncomfortable’ and began to demand that something is done about the increasing number of African American individuals moving into the city.
Jim Crow laws expanded to prevent black individuals from public parks and even the theaters, restaurants, and schools were segregated. As horrible as it sounds, it was very common to see signs everywhere prohibiting African American individuals from entering the area. The Jim Crow era was highly oppressive, and it only came to an end when prominent African American speakers stepped up into leadership positions to put an end to the racism once and for all.
It was after a hard struggle and a long-fought political battle that in 1964, President Lyndon.B.Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and legally put an end to the segregation. The Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act followed in subsequent years giving African American individuals the freedom to enjoy America the way they have always deserved from the start.
What should I do if I face racism?
If a person is subjected to racist acts by another person or by a law enforcement official, they should get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. It is important to call a lawyer particularly when a person is subjected to racism or racial profiling by an officer because of the legal complications that will often result. Every American citizen has the rights that protect them from unjust treatment, and they should take full advantage of this protection if they feel their rights are being violated in any possible way.
Police brutality lawyers can help a person file legal complaints against the offending officer to put them to justice and to reduce the common practice of racial profiling amongst law enforcement officials.