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Jim Crow Episode #2

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Jim Crow law, in U.S. history, any of the laws that enforced racial segregation in the South between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and the beginning of the civil rights movement in the 1950s. Jim Crow was the name of a minstrel routine (actually Jump Jim Crow) performed beginning in 1828 by its author, Thomas Dartmouth (“Daddy”) Rice, and by many imitators, including actor Joseph Jefferson. The term came to be a derogatory epithet for African Americans and a designation for their segregated life.

From the late 1870s, Southern state legislatures, no longer controlled by carpetbaggers and freedmen, passed laws requiring the separation of whites from “persons of color” in public transportation and schools. Generally, anyone of ascertainable or strongly suspected black ancestry in any degree was for that purpose a “person of color”; the pre-Civil War distinction favoring those whose ancestry was known to be mixed—particularly the half-French “free persons of color” in Louisiana—was abandoned. The segregation principle was extended to parks, cemeteries, theaters, and restaurants in an effort to prevent any contact between blacks and whites as equals. It was codified on local and state levels and most famously with the “separate but equal” decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).
Episode 1-4
Our premiere episodes (1-4) begin 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 disfranchised African Americans, laws that were reinforced with violence and terror tactics. By 1876, Reconstruction was over. "Promises Betrayed" recounts black response by documenting the work of such leaders as activist/separatist Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells, as well as the emergence of Booker T. Washington as a national figure.