What are the Jim Crow Laws?Edit

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    After the American Civil War, states passed legislation that legalized discrimination against former slaves and all people that were considered "Negroes". These became known as Jim Crow laws.
  • While much of the focus has historically been on Southern states with Jim Crow laws, these laws were not confined to the American South. These laws existed in California, Illinois, Connecticut, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and other northern states.
  • The laws included in the legislation discriminated against black people in all aspects of their lives inculding education, transportation, housing, voting rights, and employment.

Breaking the lawEdit

  • African American people who disobeyed the state's transport segregation policies were arrested and fined. In 1956 African Americans, led by Martin Luther King, organised the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. The spark for the boycott was the arrest of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus.
  • Segregation along racial lines continued in some parts of the Deep South, so in 1961, a civil rights group, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) began to organize Freedom Rides. The Freedom Riders Challenged the local customs and illegal Jim Crow laws by riding in mixed race groups through the South. Segregation on interstate bus travel had been declared illegal by the United States Supreme Court but local officials ignored the rulings.
  • After three days of using other techniques instead of violent techniques, black and white volunteers sat next to each other as they travelled through the Deep and tried to register and stay in the same hotels. This was especially effective when it concerned large companies who, fearing boycotts in the North, began to desegregate their busines
  • In 1964, President ,Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act had been proposed by John Kennedy. This made discrimation against people based on their race a federal offense. Projects involving federal funds could now be cut off if there was evidence of discriminated based on colour, race or national origin.

In the NovelEdit

After the American Civil War, many states across the country passed legislation legalizing discrimination. These laws were known as Jim Crow Laws. The way Tom Robinson as well as the black comminuty are treated in the novel is identical to the way the African American people were treated before the passage of the Civil Rights Act.