Jim Crow By Cj disciullo

Jim Crow made it so that the court was biased, and the laws were unconstitutional.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, which gives realistic depiction of the court cases of the times, Tom Robinson is not given a fair trial. He is given an all white jury, and wrongly convicted of rape despite the efforts of Atticus. The evidence provided during the case was vague, and there were only witnesses, who most likely lied when they were testifying. Even before Tom Robinson was given a fair trial, there was an attempted lynching. If Scout had not stepped in, Tom Robinson would have been killed. During the time of this, the courts were very biased, and the juries were mostly all white. In the time of Jim Crow, many of the whites in the juries would be prejudice agains African Americans.

Louisiana railway companies in the time of Jim Crow were required by law to keep black and white passengers separate, although this was an unconstitutional law, going against the 14th Amendment. The 14th Amendment stated that no States were allowed to pass any law that would separate people that are United States citizens. This means that every Jim Crow law ever made was unconstitutional, because it states United States citizens are given the same privileges. This exact argument was disputed in the case of Homer Plessy versus John Ferguson. Plessy was caught by Ferguson, the conductor, sitting in a seat reserved for white people. Ferguson won the case, which meant the judge found that the state of Louisiana's law did not undermine the rights of anyone, when in fact someone had been denied a seat on a train because he was African American. Plessy was not close to being full black, in fact he was only 1/8 black.

(Jim Crow textbook)

Jim Crow laws were all unconstitutional, and sometimes they are just flat out unreasonable. One of the laws that fits this criteria is an Oklahoma law prohibiting African Americans and whites from boating together, which was passed in 1935. Another one of the many unconstitutional Jim Crow laws was a law forbidding African Americans from being the barbers of white girls or women. Another law of the Jim Crow era was a Georgia law that did not allow liquor store owners to sell to both African Americans and whites; but only one of them. Another law made it so that white nurses could choose not to serve African American patients, and that no hospitals are allowed to require that they do. All of these laws violate the 14th Amendment, and by still enforcing these laws, all of the states that had these laws were not following the rule of law. Although the Federal Government was making mediocre efforts to stop what the states were doing, the state never stopped trying to find ways to get through the system.

African Americans were much poorer than whites because of the Great Depression, and they were not able to get jobs in most cases because people would not employ them. They were not employed because some jobs were outlawed for African Americans, and some employers are racist.

The graph below shows all of the discrimination of jobs. As shown on the pie chart, 80% of all job discrimination is based off of race, and the other 20% is split among three other categories, making the second biggest source of job discrimination, which is religion, a tenth of what race is. The highlighted area on the left side of the pie chart is underlining the fact that 97% of the job discrimination of race is job discrimination of African Americans. That is roughly 78% of all job discrimination of the time of Jim Crow. This is most likely caused by the fact that the status quo in the time involved discrimination of minority groups, specifically African Americans.

(Jim Crow textbook)

During the Great Depression, many people were unemployed, and there were not enough jobs to keep the economy going. Everyone was hit by the Depression, and the farms were hit especially hard. However, the minority groups of America were hit the hardest. African Americans had to suffer the most from the depression, because a lot of the jobs that they had were agricultural jobs, and lots of farms closed down. Since the Great Depression hit at the same time as Jim Crow, the whites that were seeking jobs would get priority from the employers, even if an African American and a white person were equally qualified to do a job. Even after the Depression, the African Americans are still left with the inequality from the employers, which is why the postwar stats still have whites with a lower unemployment rate than the prewar stats.

(Jim Crow textbook)

As mentioned before, many rural African Americans were cotton farmers, and cotton farmers were very badly affected during the Great Depression. The cotton prices dropped from eighteen cents per pound to six cents per pound. The prices split into a third of what they were before, and as a result of this many African Americans had to move into the cities to find jobs. The cities were much more dangerous for African Americans than rural land was. In cities, there are people that think that African Americans are stealing their jobs, when really the employers will not hire them anyways. The whites get angry at the African Americans, and some protest. The Black Shirts, who are a white supremacist group, walked around with signs saying "No jobs for n------ until every white man has a job." This made it difficult for African Americans with farms in rural areas, and for African Americans in the cities.

Jim Crow laws and etiquette prompted the lynchings of innocent African American people because when they disobeyed what the whites were saying, the African Americans may have been killed.

In the south, many African Americans were arrested for things like not giving up a seat on a train for a white person. This is a very small thing, and there were other very small things that are similar to this that they would be put in jail for. Ed Johnson was not given a fair trial, was convicted of rape and sentenced to death. He was not killed by the government at the time set for his death, but rather by a white mob who broke into his jail. The sheriff was convicted because the mob killed Ed Johnson instead of the government. His last words were "God bless you all, I am innocent". About 100 years from that day in 1906, he was cleared of rape.

The grave reads "God bless you all! I am innocent."

Jim Crow etiquette was the ways that African Americans were supposed to act around whites back in the time of Jim Crow. Jim Crow etiquette is another way that the whites of the time would try and make it seem like they were superior to African Americans. One of the things that was included in Jim Crow etiquette is that African Americans were not able show superior knowledge when talking to white people, because the racist people of the time did not care if an African American were smarter than them, they just cared because it makes African Americans look inferior to whites. Jim Crow etiquette also said that African Americans were not ever allowed to suggest that whites are from an inferior class. They had this in place because the whites did not want a class that they thought was lower than them saying that the white race is inferior. If any of these or any of the other etiquette rules were broken, usually it would end with an African American being lynched.

1. "Jim Crow Laws." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.


2. " What Was Jim Crow." Jim Crow Museum: Origins of Jim Crow. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.


Emmett Till was one of the people who had to experience the worst of Jim Crow. Emmett Till did not follow the Jim Crow etiquette, and as a result of that he was murdered brutally. No one was ever punished for his death, because at the time it was common for things like these to happen. Emmett Till never received a fair trial before he was murdered. He was accused of rape, after wolf-whistling a white woman. The white woman admitted that most of what she said at the time was not true in a somewhat recent interview.

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