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Jim Crow

Jim Crow laws enforced strict segregation between black and white people. The laws were enforced primarily in the South and were used to justify segregation for almost 80 years. They restricted African Americans’ access to businesses and public amenities including schools, transportation, housing, retail and restaurants, bathrooms, drinking fountains and more. These laws discouraged interaction between the races, and often cast black people as second-class citizens. Many resisted Jim Crow laws. One was 15-year-old Claudette Colvin, who in March, 1955, refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Colvin was arrested. Nine months later, Rosa Parks was arrested for doing that, too. [According to the National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide, “Jim Crow was the name of a routine performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork and sang and danced in caricature of a silly black person. Jim Crow became a racial epithet and synonymous with the brutal segregation and disenfranchisement of African Americans.”]

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institutional racism