Jim Crow Laws

Jim Crow laws functioned to keep black and white people separated, particularly in social settings and social institutions such as marriage. The states and cities were allowed to punish people who went against these laws.

These hateful laws worked to enforce segregation amongst the races, which ultimately led to civil rights actions starting in the 1950s, led by individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

Below are examples:

Marriage: "All marriages between a white person and a black person, or between a white person and a person of African American descent to the fourth generation inclusive, hereby forever prohibited."

Hospitalization:  "The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for said patients (in a mental hospital), so that in no case shall African Americans and white persons be together." (Georgia Law)

Nursing: "No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms or hospitals, either public or private, in which African American men are placed." (Alabama Law)

Buses: "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." (Alabama Law)