Mackenzie Breen, GBP Student
We’ve all learned about the “separate but equal” concept the Jim Crow Laws support, but where did the term “Jim Crow” come from and how is it still relevant today? Thomas Dartmouth Rice portrayed Jim Crow an exaggerated stereotypical black character. In Blackface Minstrel shows Rice danced around with his face painted black singing the words:
Of course these laws were extremely prominent in the Southern States; however, it cannot be denied that Massachusetts took part in the Jim Crow laws. Until as late as 1843, Massachusetts blacks were prohibited from marrying whites, sitting in the same pew at church and up until 1850 could not attend the same schools as white children. One area of segregation that used the tactic peaceful disobedience of the law was transportation. Numerous blacks tried to challenge the Jim Crow laws by sitting in the car or seat of their choosing. Many times this turned out badly causing the blacks to be beaten or kicked off the train. In 1843 it was the Governor with the help of public opinion that ended segregation on trains in Massachusetts. While the Jim Crow Laws are no longer enacted, I still see the original idea of blackface in the media. Often times people plead that they did not know what blackface was or that it is even offensive. Ignorance should no longer be plausible reason for why people are wearing blackface. It is important to talk about this dark part of American history in order to educate people about this past
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