Jim Crow Brandon Thomas


During Jim Crow times, white lawmakers created unfair laws to label African Americans as inferior to whites in social and economic aspects


The Children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform shall be kept entirely separate from each other.

This law, passed in Kentucky during the 1900s, caused African American children to have a major disadvantage to whites. The separation of reform schools caused there to be a poorer reform method for blacks than whites. The law allowed black children to be unfairly treated in the houses of reform, more so than white children.


All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races.

This law, passed in Alabama during the 1900s, compelled black residents to take seats apart from whites. During the early 1950s, not a single white person man and woman alike had to stand on a Montgomery bus. This law implied that African American people were inferior and less important than whites in social aspects.


The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together.

This law, passed in Georgia during the 1900s, put already mentally disadvantage African American patients at an even bigger disadvantage to white patients. This segregation law allowed for better treatment of whites and poorer treatment of blacks, and prevented blacks from being able to be treated to the extent they require. Because of this, African Americans in Georgia would not get well as fast or at all, and therefore unable to provide for themselves or their family.


Because of social biases during Jim Crow times, African Americans were at a major disadvantage with finding high income jobs, and greatly struggled with unemployment.


Thomas Chatmon was the son of a sharecropper during the Jim Crow Era. In an interview, Chatmon talks about a memory he has of his father's sharecropping business. They had a full years harvest of crops that they were going to sell so Thomas was able to go to school, however they were denied money for their hard work. Chatmon's story is an example of how racial biases affect African American jobs and income.


Across America, the average income of African Americans was significantly lower than that of whites in the early to mid 1900s. The structure of society during the Jim Crow era put African Americans at a major disadvantage in terms of employment and income. White individuals would think it wrong for African Americans to have jobs that they could have, so certain business owners stopped hiring African Americans. Jobs that did hire African Americans paid significantly less than other jobs specifically for whites.

This is data was collected during 1946 and shows that with few exceptions, African Americans were on average paid significantly lower to whites.

The schools for white children and the schools for Negro children shall be conducted separately

This law, passed in Florida during the 1900s, caused African American children to have a much poorer education than white children. Since complete segregation was allowed, black schools would be poorly funded, while white schools would be the opposite. Because of this law created because of racial biases, African American men and women alike receive a poor education when compared to whites, and therefore unable to get jobs that give a living wage.


During Jim Crow times, the different aspects of the media portrayed African Americans as savage and inferior, and this lead to expectations on how African Americans should act in everyday life.


During the Jim Crow Era, in many aspects of the media, such as the songs and plays displayed above, had the character Jim Crow. This was a character that was black-faced, and is portrayed as unintelligent, prone to crime, clumsy, and savage. Because this was exposed to people of all ages, and became a part of daily life, these portrayals in the media lead to a negative conception on how African Americans should act in everyday life.


During the Jim Crow Era, popular cartoons displayed racial stereotypes of African American people, sometimes depicting them more akin to apes then men. This painted a picture especially in younger minds about the way society during the time deemed African Americans: as unintelligent and inferior people. This is an example of how the media can shape the way people see other races in society, especially if shown and incorporated at a younger age.


During the Jim Crow Period, advertisers would use African American Stereotypes to sell their products. The Aunt Jemima marketing material is an example of cultural stereotypes in advertisements leading to assumptions on how a certain race should act, in this case with African American mothers. Wikipedia states, "The myth surrounding Aunt Jemima's secret recipe, family life, and plantation life as a happy slave contributes to the post civil war idealism of southern life and America's developing consumer culture."

Most of these advertisements would use well-known racial icons, and in the case of Aunt Jemima, that stereotype was "Mammy". The book Mammy says in its description, "Mammy's stereotypical attributes---a sonorous and soothing voice, raucous laugh, infinite patience, self-deprecating wit, and implicit acceptance of her own inferiority and her devotion to white children---all point to a long-lasting and troubled confluence of racism, sexism, and southern nostalgia."


-"Mammy." University of Michigan Press. Michigan Publishing, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.

-"Racist Cartoons." Racist Cartoons. Ferris State University, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2017.

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