What Was the Purpose of the Jim Crow Laws?

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The purpose of the Jim Crow laws was to segregate and disenfranchise black Americans. The Jim Crow system, which was a racial caste class in actuality, was a series of immutable anti-black laws that mainly deprived African Americans the right to suffrage.

The Jim Crow laws, named after a black character in minstrel shows, were primarily enforced in the American South and border states. The laws were prevalent from the 1880s into the mid-1960s and significantly affected the way of life for African Americans. The Jim Crow system mandated the segregation between whites and blacks in schools, libraries, parks, restrooms, buses, trains, restaurants and even drinking fountains. Stiff legal penalties were imposed by the government on people caught associating with members of another race. Intermarriage was forbidden and business establishments and private institutions were instructed to separate their black and white clientele.

The system denied African Americans the right to vote by restricting suffrage to people whose predecessors had participated in an election before the Civil War. The only people allowed to vote were Democrats and the only people entitled to be Democrats were the whites.

Most of the black population opposed the discrimination brought on by the Jim Crow laws. Many of them lost their lives for their bravery and resistance.