Currently, my class has been learning about the late 1800's - early 1900's. My subject of study is race, and in this time period, domestic racial inequality is at an all time high. When African Americans were given freedom, Caucasian's lost their minds. They did not approve of African Americans being able to do the same things they were. The result of this was the creation of Jim Crow Laws, which was a nasty racial caste system that whites created with the belief that they are superior to all African American's in all important roles. These laws took place in Southern racist states, and did not venture up into the Northern lands. Northeast American's were much more excepting of the freedom of African Americans. The South did not share mutual feelings. Some whites believed violence should be used to keep blacks at the bottom of racial hierarchy. The KKK was created in this time period to help carry out the violence aspect of Jim Crow Laws. The laws were obnoxiously racist; for example, "Under no circumstances was a black male to offer to light a cigarette of a white woman -- that gesture implied intimacy.", even though this was almost never meant as a sexual gesture. Whites were basically making things up to create the least amount of comfort in an African American's everyday lifestyle. Jim Crow laws, also called black codes, made it very difficult for African American's in public situations. There were separate schools, bathrooms, restaurants, water fountains, and so much more, that were all put in place because African Americans were not supposed to have the same amount of equality as whites. It was publicized everywhere that these two races were not allowed to do participate in the same opportunities as whites; for example, there were signs on every segregate place or object that required blacks to not be involved. So, there were a lot of signs. This was a very low time in Southern African American's lives, but they did everything they could to survive and follow the "rules" placed before them. I extremely respect every soul that had to go through this time period as a black individual, and there will never be this drastic divide racial environment again in America.
Thank you for your time,
Brooke van den Berg
You can find more information about this tragic time period at this site.