During The Jim Crow era, African Americans were segregated in so many ways. Including in the economy. They were almost never hired for work, unless it was for low paying; and un educated jobs.
The White Americans did not want the African Americans in the same workspace as themselves.
Specific laws were put in place by politicians that enforced this type of segregation, and made sure that African Americans were less than White Americans.
During the Jim Crow era, there were Jim Crow Laws. These laws enforced segregation. They made sure that African Americans were completely separate from the White Americans. They wanted them to be so far apart, that they even had segregated public water fountains.
The White Americans did not care about the African Americans. They showed this with the segregation, but also with the quality of it. The drinking fountain, for example; the White American's drinking fountain would be well taken care. When the African American's was dirty, old, and beat down.
A very popular set of Jim Crow segregation laws that were put in place were the transportation laws. These laws made sure that that the African Americans were seated separated from the White Americans.
On a bus, for example, the African Americans had to sit in the back. They were also forced to give up their seat and either move, or stand; if a White American did not have a seat.
During the Jim Crow era, a lot of political and legal power was focused on segregation.
When there is an African American that disagrees with the segregation laws and tries to stand up, he will be arrested and punished unfairly.
When there was ever an African American blamed for doing something in court, and it is the African American's word against the White American's word; the White American would almost win every time. The White Americans would win a lot of the times, just because they are white.
There would also be illegal lynchings, that politicians and some law enforcement over looked. A lynching is when an African American is tortured and killed for any crime, before even being sentenced, or proven guilty. Often the African Americans would have been broken out of jail, by a mob and then lynched. Some law enforcement did not care, back then.