The History of Jim Crow

  1. Where did the term, “Jim Crow,” originate from?

The term “Jim Crow” originated from a song performed by Daddy Rice, he performed the character of a silly black man, he sang and danced and covered his face in charcoal to resemble someone of the African American race.

2. After the year 1900, what did the term, “Jim Crow,” become identified with?

After  the year 1900 the term “Jim Crow” became indentified with the racist actions and laws that made sure African Americans were not able to have the same civil rights as whites, because it was believed white people, were superior to black people.

3. What Supreme Court case upheld segregation, or “separate but equal?”

The Supreme Court case that upheld segregation, or “separate but equal” was the Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896.

4. Who was Booker T. Washington? What was his stance on the segregation debates?

A man born into slavery, Booker T. Washington firmly believed that if blacks just accepted the segregation between blacks and whites, and did farm work, it would help blacks avoid terror and violence. He aided to found many black schools and colleges often funded by white philanthropists, which taught blacks on agriculture, and trained black teaches. He believed that his efforts and the efforts of others from his race, would bring an equal society, and black people could earn the title of “middle class” and avoid the terror of Jim Crow.

5. What was the name of the new literary movement, based in Harlem, New York, which featured “New Negro” poetry and literature that emphasized self-respect and defiance under the Jim Crow laws?

The Harlem Renaissance was the name of the literary movement which featured “new negro” literature and poetry.

6. How did some southern black people try to resist and escape the Jim Crow laws?

Many black people attempted to resist the Jim Crow laws, by accepting segregation and working hard on farms and such, they believed that if they worked hard enough, they would begin to be accepted throughout society. Many other black people believed that attacking white supremacy through defiant acts would help resist the Jim Crow laws, when it only caused more lynchings, and several of the defiant blacks were forced to flee their towns. Many blacks resisted Jim Crow by hoping for when they could escape the Jim Crow South, like their ancestors used to Underground Railroad to flee slavery by following the north star. Thousands of blacks left for Oklahoma and Kansas in the 1880s and 1890s, the move to Kansas was named the “Kansas Exodus” and to this day, there are still several almost all black towns in this state. Some African Americans attempted to establish all-black towns in the south, in Mississippi delta, and Mound Bayou in hopes of completely getting away from whites while staying in the region of what felt like home.

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