Coursework Example: The United States Post-Civil War Era - Jim Crow Laws

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University of Richmond
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Jim Crow Laws were passed during the second half of the nineteenth century after the Reconstruction. They provided for institutionalized racial segregation in all the public facilities like schools, transport, churches, hospitals and recreational facilities (Hunkele, 2014). Facilities meant for blacks were inferior, exposing African Americans to academic, economic and social misfortunes. Also, segregation sometimes was in the form of discriminative practices such as job discrimination, the ban in intermarriages, legislative restrictions and housing segregation (Guffey, 2012). Measures that were taken to reduce election fraud barred blacks from voting as restrictive electoral rules, unaffordable poll taxes and high literacy requirements were imposed. As a result, blacks lacked political and legislative influence.

One such law in Georgia stated that "All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license" (Tischauser, 2012). This law, just like many other laws institutionalized segregation discriminated against black Americans. The words "anywhere" meant that whites and blacks were not allowed to interact. Any black who was found in a whites' facility would be immediately arrested and charged with disobedience.

Enactment of these was due to factors like protection. The white citizen believed that if African Americans were left to enjoy freedoms such as attending the whites schools, they would become more opinionated, and therefore there was a need to restrict them. In addition, it was a reaction to the efforts by some African Americans in the late nineteenth century to demand amendments that would expand their civil rights (Hunkele, 2014). Segregating them would thus ensure that white citizens retain racial privilege. Moreover, the whites had degrading stereotypes and propaganda that Africans were inferior and therefore had to be controlled by the whites.

However, these laws were not fought against because racial segregation was deemed constitutionally right and legalized, hence could not be challenged in courts. The segregated institutions were said to be separate but equal (Hunkele, 2014). Moreover, the European-dominated governments countered any attempts to challenge Jim Crow Laws in courts countered by formulating more restrictive laws. Additionally, according to Hunkele (2014), the African Americans did not have political support as they were not denied rights to political and legislative posts.

Even during the Jim Crow era, these laws should not have been written. To begin with, the services and sacrifices by African American should have been a good reason to grant them full citizenship. This was an indication that African Americans were not a threat to America. It was also proving that they were not inferior as they were capable of participating in constructive and developmental endeavors in America. Moreover, these laws barred blacks from participating in sports completions and major leagues (Guffey, E. (2012). However, many blacks gained fame through Negro leagues. Black singers also gained a lot of popularity and attracted white audiences. Therefore these laws should not have been formulated as they did not hinder black Americans from shinning but instead motivated them.

In conclusion, the Jim Crow laws posed a lot of hardships to African Americans despite their participation and support to American during the Civil War. Institutionalized racial segregation exposed them to inferior services from inferior facilities, which were sometimes not available.


Guffey, E. (2012). Knowing their space: Signs of Jim Crow in the segregated south. Design Issues, 28(2), 41-60.

Hunkele, K. L. (2014). Segregation in United States Healthcare: From Reconstruction to Deluxe Jim Crow.

Tischauser, L. V. (2012). Jim Crow Laws. ABC-CLIO.

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