“Jim Crow Laws” a brief American story
Jim Crow Laws are featured on this date. These were any of the laws that enforced racial segregation in the American South between the end of the formal Reconstruction period (1877) and the beginning of the strong civil-rights movement (1950s).
Apartheid, Africa’s “Jim Crow”
*On this date in 1950, the Population Registration Act No 30 of 1950 began in South Africa; the beginning of South African Apartheid.
This law required people to be identified and registered from birth as one of four distinct racial groups: White, Colored, Bantu (Black African), and other. It was one of the ‘pillars’ of Apartheid. Race was reflected in the individual’s Identity Number.
Thomas Rice, the face of ‘Jim Crow’
*Thomas Dartmouth Rice was born on this date in1808. He was a White entertainer and playwright who popularized the Jim Crow character in minstrel shows.
Jim Thompson, Black Pioneer born
*The birth of Jim Thompson is celebrated on this date c 1799. He was a Black, laborer, translator and trapper in the Minnesota territories. James Thompson was born a slave in Virginia. His first trip into Minnesota country came in 1827 with his owner, sutler John Culbertson while he sold slave produced merchandise to […]
William S. Scarborough, Scholar born
*This date in 1852 marks the birth of William Sander Scarborough. He was an African American scholar and University President.
William Scarborough was born in Macon, Georgia. As a child he studied with a free Black family and white neighbors learning carpentry and shoe making. He was emancipated during the Civil War, entered Atlanta University in 1869, and then went on to Oberlin College for his Masters degree. He taught for a time amidst the Jim Crow Laws in the south.
Supreme Court upholds Plessy v. Ferguson
On this date in 1896, the Supreme Court upheld Plessy v. Ferguson. This “separate but equal” Louisiana decree marked the formal beginning of Jim Crow Laws and an end to Reconstruction.
Jack Johnson becomes the first Black heavyweight boxing champ
On this date in 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African American to win the world heavyweight boxing title.
Johnson knocked out Canadian Tommy Burns in the 14th round in a championship fight near Sydney, Australia. Whites hated Johnson, who held the heavyweight title until 1915, for his defiance of the “Jim Crow” racial segregation and oppression of early 20th-century America.
Boxing Album: An Illustrated History
by Peter Brooke Bell
Smithmark Publisher, 1995
White Journalist reports on the Segregated South
*On this date in 1948, a white man’s account of being Black in the segregated south was published. Ray Sprigle a white reporter with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette set out to document his experiences of being Black in “Jim Crow” South.
Walter F. White, NAACP Leader born
Walter Francis White was born on this date in 1893. He was an African American activist and administrator.
His father was a postman and his mother a schoolteacher in Atlanta. Because Atlanta had Jim Crow laws, as a child, White attended segregated Black schools, sat in the rear of buses, and experienced many other indignities of racism. When he was 13, White witnessed a race riot in Atlanta.
Rodolphe Desdunes fought segregation
*Rodolphe Desdunes was born on this date in 1849. He was an African American civic leader, author and scholar.
Rodolphe Lucien Desdunes spent much of his professional life as a clerk with the U.S. Customs Service, but his contribution to history lies in his efforts to promote the achievements of his Blacks and to challenge the legality of Jim Crow laws. On September 5, 1891, he helped to organize the Comite des Citoyens, which backed Homer Plessy’s unsuccessful attempt to challenge segregation in public transportation.