After the Civil War, Southern states passed the Black Codes to restrict the freedom of the now liberated blacks and keep them in an eternal state of poverty and labor.
Previously, other slave codes were also prevalent in the US such as the Fugitive Slave Law (which dealt with runaway slaves) , permitting unfair and cruel treatment to blacks.
Examples of such laws include, “Any slave attempting to run away and leave the colony receives the death penalty. Slaves areforbidden to leave the owner's property, unless accompanied by a white person” -1712 South Carolina slave code
Black codes and slave laws are similar to the Jim Crow laws in that the objective of each was to restrict blacks from ever being fully integrated into society and gaining equality.
Unlike the Black Codes and slave laws, however, the Jim Crow laws claimed to mantain a “separate but equal” status for blacks, but of course these laws only ended up highlighting the discrimination and segregation towards blacks and allowing the unjustified treatment of blacks, as the other slave laws did.
Atlanta Riot (1906) occurred due to the rising status of blacks, who were exercising their right to vote and building their own communities. A black elite class formed, which sought to separate itself from the lower black class, whose unemployed men frequently visited the saloons on Atlanta's Decatur Street. Whites, who felt threatened by the black elite, began to blame crime rates and sexual violence against white woman on those black men and one day when four such alleged cases were reported on, white men and boys flooded Atlanta’s black community, beating up and killing several black men and woman, along with inflicting severe property damage.
Tulsa Riot (1921): In 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma was a city with the second largest black community in the state, which was completely burned down in one night during a riot. The second Ku Klux Klan had increased lynchings and had targeted their next victim, Dick Rowland, who had accidently stepped on a white woman’s, Sarah Page’s, foot. Accusations went straight to an attempt to rape her, and he was arrested. A white mob went to the court house to take Rowland away and lynch him, and when the sheriff refused, a shot was fired and the riot began.
Red Summer: The summer of 1919 was plagued by race riots all over the country. Blacks were migrating to the North and Midwest to fill the labor shortages in factories as white men had gone to fight in World War 1. Increased disdain and competition for jobs led to 3 major race riots. A riot in Washington D.C., is the only known account in which blacks actually fought back violently when local police did not intervene. Riots in Chicago and Elaina, AK had huge death tolls and property damage for blacks.
During this time period, the Jim Crow laws were instilled and this led to further tensions between blacks and whites. Whites asserted their superiority and often punished blacks for disobeying one of the laws. Their punishments involved whipping or beating, which often led to riots, and for bigger misdemeanors, whites would lynch (shoot or hang), the black in question in public.
In Memphis, Ida Wells was a co-owner and editor of a local black newspaper, "The Free Speech and Headlight."
She used a pseudonym, "Iola," with which she condemned violence against blacks, disfranchisement, poor schools, and the failure of black people to fight for their rights.
In 1892, Tom Moss, a respected black store owner and friend of Ida, was lynching with two of his friends after defending his store against an attack by whites. Wells was outraged and in her newspaper, she attacked the evils of lynching, inspired by the horrific murder of her friend. She also encouraged the black residents of Memphis to leave town.
When Wells was out of town, a mob destroyed her newspaper and warned her not to return to Memphis because her life was in danger.
She went to New York, where she was hired by T. Thomas Fortune, the publisher of "The New York Age," and led the first anti-lynching campaign.
She identified lynching as a crime and pushed the government and social reform to take action about it.
Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England where it was widely accepted.
She wrote many pamphlets exposing white violence and lynching, defending black victims.
NAACP even got involved with anti-lynching.
Jim Crow Laws allowed for violence such as lynchings against blacks to showcase white supremacy. Public lynchings would occur, such as the one involving Wells' friend, Tom Moss. Wells' anti-lynching crusade campaigned against the misdemeanors against blacks, such as lynchings, identifying them as crimes and spreading awareness about it.
- Native from Chicago who went to Mississippi over the summer
- Emmett Till had an encounter with a 21 year old white woman, Carolyn Bryant, who accused him of allegedly flirting with her. There are many different versions of the story but nobody knows which story is true. However, after the encounter Carolyn Bryant informed her husband and his half-brother of Till.
- One night, they kidnapped Till and took him to several places where they beat him brutally, gouged out one of his eyes, shot him in the head, and tied him to a 70-pound fan with barbed wire before throwing him into a river. He was found dead a couple days later.
This event is similar to the Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow laws included etiquette in which Black men could not even touch any White women or else they could be accused of rape. In Emmett Till’s case, his actions in flirting with a white woman in Mississippi caused the woman’s husband to act upon the Black’s actions and ended up killing Emmett.
Blacks wanted to end segregation in the United States and give them the voting rights they deserved
Montgomery Bus Boycott: began after Rosa Parks was sent to prison for sitting in the front of the bus and not giving up her seat to a White; led by Martin Luther King Jr.
Greensboro Sit-ins: Students were prevented from buying lunch at a segregated counter at the Woolworth Storestudents continued to sit and wait until the store was closedmore students joined this protestother people started doing this in many storesled to a fall in the store’s financial condition, as people were not coming theresegregation ended in this store
March from Selma to Washington: A “nonviolent march” from Selma to Washington by protestors to gain their deserved rights; protestors attacked by police (“Bloody Sunday”); Whites joined the protest, but white minister killed, which led to people being angered and joining the protests; eventually led to the passing of Acts that gave Africans their rights
Brown vs. Board: Ruled that segregation in public schools was not fair and was to be ended; contrasts to Plessy vs. Ferguson “separate but equal decision
Civil Rights Act (1964): prevented racial segregation in public place; prohibited any sort of discrimination when employing people
Voting Rights Act (1965): prevented people from being discriminated against in voting; literacy tests were banned, as they were the reason many Blacks were unable to vote
Contrasts from Jim Crow Laws because it was an effort to end discrimination against the Blacks and give them all the rights that they deserved