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Jim Crow Final3 - Kasha Mansfield-Skurski Dr Cheu WRA 195H...

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Kasha Mansfield-Skurski Dr. Cheu WRA 195H Sec. 4, 3:00-4:50 Final Exam Paper December 7 th , 2006 The Jim Crow Complex The Jim Crow period was from 1890 to the 1950s. During this time the whites of the South spread oppression throughout the black population. They used the legal system as well as resorting to less than legal methods. They also used the various social customs that had been established during the time that the blacks were slaves to keep the black population under their control (Remembering Jim Crow). Everything the white southerners did centered around the belief that blacks were less than whites and should then be treated that way. Because of the laws that were passed and the horrible treatment the newly freed slaves encountered, it led to the development of inferiority complexes amongst the black population. This complex, in effect, created a barrier between the white and black population. This barrier can be seen in present time as well. This barrier is, in essence, eugenics. It was created from the Jim Crow period and has been integrated into our American culture. I will analyze various situations during the Jim Crow period that black people of the South were faced with, and then reveal the barrier that was formed and how it is seen in present society. To understand what the Jim Crow period was about and how it made the black population feel, one first has to know the history that led to the development of Jim Crow as well as what laws and social customs were enforced during this time. The persona of Jim Crow became widely known in the 1830s. Jim Crow was a fictional character believed to be created in 1830 when Thomas Rice, a show performer, saw an elderly-crippled-black man singing and dancing a jig. The chorus of this song always ended with these words:
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Mansfield-Skurski “Weel about and turn about and do jis so, Eb’ry time I weel about I jump Jim Crow”(Davis). From there, Thomas Rice started using this song and dance in his act. He would perform for audiences all over the South. He’d blacken his face with burnt cork and dress in beggars clothes. He would then dance a silly jig while singing the song “Jump Jim Crow.” From there the character Jim Crow was created. By the 1850s, the Jim Crow character had been completely integrated into the theatrical community in America (Davis). People in the North and the South began to think of black people as Jim Crow. Since most people in the North didn’t see black people very often, they assumed that all black people acted like the happy-go-lucky Jim Crow. After a little while, Jim Crow and Negro became synonymous (Davis). From the association of black people to Jim Crow came what is called, the Jim Crow laws. Once blacks were granted their freedom, southern states began to pass laws and uphold social customs that restricted what black people could do. The state governments passed these laws to keep the new generation of black people who were born as freeman in their place.
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