|Jim Crow Laws
Jim Crow laws, enacted during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War, became a new way of ensuring white supremacy. These laws kept white people and black people far apart from each other in daily life. Blacks could not use the same public restrooms or waiting rooms as whites and were not allowed to attend white schools or sit in white seats on buses. Signs hung in public places designated the whites only and colored facilities.
The segregation laws were supplemented by a rigid social codeoften enforced by violencedictating how blacks were to act around whites. Together, the laws and customs were meant to ensure that blacks would never forget their place in the social, economic, and political hierarchy. Separation of the races also ensured that individuals of different races would never truly get to know each other. Nor would they ever have to question their own prejudices, since that meant questioning the law itself.