Jim Crow refers to a set of laws, policies, and social practices that enforced racial segregation and [[discrimination]] against African Americans, primarily in the Southern United States, from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. The term "Jim Crow" is derived from a popular 19th-century minstrel show character that perpetuated [racist](https://doctorparadox.net/category/psychology/racism/) stereotypes of African Americans. Following the end of the [[Civil War]] and the abolition of [[slavery]] in the United States, the [[Reconstruction]] period (1865-1877) aimed to reintegrate the Southern states and secure [[civil rights]] for newly freed African Americans. However, the end of Reconstruction saw the emergence of Jim Crow laws, which were designed to maintain [[white supremacy]] and keep African Americans in a subordinate position. Jim Crow laws and practices varied by state but typically included: 1. **Racial [[segregation]]**: Public spaces, such as schools, transportation, restrooms, and drinking fountains, were often segregated by race. This "[[separate but equal]]" doctrine was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1896 case [[Plessy v. Ferguson]]. 2. **Voting restrictions**: Many Southern states implemented poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses to effectively [[disenfranchise]] African American voters, despite the 15th Amendment, which granted the right to vote regardless of race. 3. **Economic and employment discrimination**: African Americans often faced limited employment opportunities, wage discrimination, and exclusion from labor unions. 4. **Social and cultural discrimination**: African Americans were subjected to degrading stereotypes, and interracial relationships were discouraged or criminalized. 5. **Violence and intimidation**: Racially motivated violence, including lynchings and other acts of terror by groups such as the [[Ku Klux Klan (KKK)]], was used to maintain racial hierarchy and control. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s sought to dismantle the Jim Crow system. Key legal victories, such as [[The Supreme Court]]'s 1954 decision in [[Brown v. Board of Education]], which declared racial [[segregation]] in public schools un[[constitution]]al, and the [[Civil Rights Act]] of 1964, which banned [[discrimination]] based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, helped to end the era of Jim Crow. Despite these advances, the legacy of Jim Crow continues to influence racial disparities and tensions in the United States today.