Jim Crow laws

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Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.


  • The hundred-year period of racial apartheid and racial terrorism known as Jim Crow.
  • And what was the cost of this Jim Crow? Not merely that the precious words "America" and "freedom" became suspect in the eyes of the world, but more than that. It cost us lives. Lives of white men, of Frenchmen, Russians and Chinese-because there were many battles in this war when replacements were needed. But the American rule of war was "No Negroes allowed on the front lines" until the 92d finally got there. I listened to the Axis radio. Tokyo Rose said, and she quoted American sources, that Negroes were good enough to serve in the American Army, but they weren't good enough to pitch in the American Big League baseball. And they broadcast this not only to our own troops but also to the billion and a half colored peoples of the earth.
  • To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body. As black Americans living in a small Kentucky town, the railroad tracks were a daily reminder of our marginality. ... We had always to return to the margin, to cross the tracks, to shacks and abandoned houses on the edge of town. There were laws to ensure our return. To not return was to risk being punished.

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