Gisselle, Vargas Mrs. Goodman & Mrs. Millard Millard English 9 P1 January 23, 2019 How did the Jim Crow Laws/Segregation impact society? According to Martin Luther King Jr. “Segregation…not only harms one physically but injures one spiritually…It scars the soul…It is a system which forever stares the segregated in the face, saying ‘you are less than…’ ‘you are not equal to…’ ”The Jim Crow laws played a major role as to what Martin Luther King Jr. stated.“Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after an insulting song lyric on African Americans, the law—which existed for about 100 years, from the post-Civil War era until 1968—were meant to return Southern states to an antebellum class structure by marginalizing black Americans. Black communities and individuals that attempted to defy Jim Crow laws often met with violence and death”(“Jim Crow Laws”).
Meaning that African Americans were separated and discriminated by The White Race, but those who oppose were met with undesirable circumstances. The Jim Crow laws/segregation impacted society by having a different individuals owning land, people’s views on others who were discriminated, and led to other forms of laws be inspired by them. The Jim Crow Laws paved the way for black people to start owning land. At first African Americans believed as stated, “ Working the land was the hope of survival. Even when the land was owned by white oppressors, master and mistress, it was the earth itself that protected exploited black folks from dehumanization ”(Loftus 29). This began their strives for land within their community. As they began to adapt to the laws; African Americans found out that the lands not only offered them a place to survive, but also protected them from being exploited or dehumanized.
In the south; land was seen as an important factor. “While owning land was a priority for most people in East Texas regardless of racial affiliation, this was particularly true for African Americans who were able to gain limited autonomy through purchasing land, and some relief from persistent racism. Conversations with local residents reinforce how important land ownership was within the context of Jim Crow ”(Loftus 46). Within some locations,most people believed that owning land was the matter of greatest importance. Leading black people strive for land, even if they were to gain limited acres, bringing them relief from racism. After years passed by some African Americans succeeded in owning land. “Community members, including both new black landowners, and long-term tenants slowly and persistently laid down roots in the community and over generations acquired more control over property and infrastructure. The process was long, drawn out, imperfect, and marked by both successes and failures. The initial cemetery purchase exemplifies these tensions. While the purchase was a victory for the black community, the deed itself was subject to stipulations that ensured that while officially transferring responsibility for the cemetery’s upkeep. Benjamin Jackson still ultimately remained in control of the property ”(Loftus 36). As time progressed African Americans were able to own land such as the example of Benjamin Jackson who was, at last, the owner of a property.Due to him and other successes this played a role on laying down their roots to the community, which in turn led to a more diverse group of owners and may have led on changing the views of black people.
Throughout the time of the Jim Crow laws, many who were discriminated tried to own land in order to escape from being affected by the laws somewhat. In turn the factor changed the title of whites owning land; making the owners diverse, and contributed to the views they were seen as. The laws created different views for the individuals who were discriminated. One such example is “Recognized by such means as ranging from discrimination in hiring and in the rental and sale of housing to certain races to vigilante violence (such as lynching). Sometimes, a situation that arises when members of different races mutually prefer to associate and do business with members of their own race would usually be described as separation or de facto separation of the races rather than segregation”(Brown 7). When the laws were passed, people of different race were segregated but it was commonly described to as “de facto separation of the races”( Brown 7). This in exchange discriminated different races that are not white on hiring opportunities, renting and sale housing. Sometimes they would go as far as to use vigilante violence because of this factor.
One thing that was established by the laws was that they also came in between someone’s personal life.“ In the United States, legal separation was required in some states, and came with anti-misconception laws with prohibitions against interracial marriage according to the Racial Integrity Act, 1924 (Wikisource.org). Segregation often allowed close contact in hierarchical situations, such as allowing a person of one race to work as a servant for a member of another race. Segregation could involve spatial separation of the races, and mandatory use of different institutions, such as schools and hospitals by people of different races”( Brown 7). This states that interracial marriage was severely frown upon, but it also reinforced some views that were seen from different races. Such as allowing a person of a different race to work as a servant for the member of the other race. Lastly, another example that the laws changed the views of society was“After laws were passed that segregated African-Americans and Whites, the lives of those who were negatively affected saw no progress in their quest for equality”(Brown 7). As the Jim Crow laws were established, African Americans did not find any evidence that affected their establishment for equality. Thereby, the society’s views on them continued to escalate into believing the ideas that the laws were mainly focused on. Thereby the legislation did in fact rewired the views of other races.
Some were negative as the groups were discriminated and in some cases victims to be more prone to violence. The Jim Crow Laws pave the way for new laws to be inspired. One of these factors that reviewed the Jim Crow Laws were Nazis.“ ‘America in the early 20th century was the leading racist jurisdiction in the world,’ says Whitman, who is a professor at Yale Law School. ‘Nazi lawyers, as a result, were interested in, looked very closely at, [and] were ultimately influenced by American race law’ ”(“How the Nazis were inspired by Jim Crow”). Within the time Germany was a fascist government; The Nazis who analyzed the laws found inspiration on discriminating specific groups. As a result of this, Nazi lawyers started to study the Jim Crow Laws in order to come up with their own legislation. After studying the laws; The Germans decided to include these laws on their government.“ ‘America had, by a wide margin, the harshest law of this kind,’ Whitman says. ‘In particular, some of the state laws threatened severe criminal punishment for interracial marriage. That was something radical Nazis were very eager to do in Germany as well’ ”(“How the Nazis were inspired by Jim Crow”). When government officials completed to analyze the legislations; then was decided to create regulations inspired by the Jim Crow Laws. Taking more interest in punishing their citizens for marrying outside their groups. “ Once the U.S. entered the war, it took a decidedly anti-Nazi stance. But black American troops noticed the similarities between the two countries, and confronted them head-on with a ‘Double V Campaign’ ”(“How the Nazis were inspired by Jim Crow”). After The Nazis published the laws to their country, the United States soon enough joined the war to fight The Axis Powers.
However, once the United States sent black troops to Germany, the soldiers expressed that specific groups had the same treatments as The Jim Crow Laws. Furthermore, as the fascism government of Germany began to create legislations in order to discriminate specific groups; the officials stumbled upon the Jim Crow laws and began to study the regulations. After which, the laws were inspired by the legislations of The United States. Overall, the Jim Crow laws were laws in the southern states that impacted society. The laws changed the aspect of owning land, views on groups, and inspired other legislations from different parts of the world. These set of laws from the south inspired other races; such as African Americans to start owning land, created different views for the groups that were discriminated, and led to others laws from different parts of the world get inspired by the regulations. This is quite unfortunate that the world’s society by default had such factors as The Jim Crow Laws existing. However, without the components that our past society developed the future generation would of never inaugurated morals of today.
- Brown, Geraldine. “The Millennials (Generation Y): Segregation, Integration and Racism.” ABNF Journal, vol. 28, no. 1, Winter 2017, p. 5.
- EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,sso&db=aqh&AN=121353793. History.com. “Jim Crow Laws.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 28 Feb. 2018, www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/jim-crow-laws.
- Little, Becky. “How the Nazis Were Inspired by Jim Crow.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 16 Aug. 2017, www.history.com/news/how-the-nazis-were-inspired-by-jim-crow.
- LOFTUS, SARAH. “Negotiating Ownership in a Contested Landscape: A Consideration of Post Emancipation Black Community Development during Jim Crow in Anderson County, Texas.” East Texas Historical Journal, vol. 55, no. 1, Spring 2017, p. 28. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,sso&db=aqh&AN=126272908&site=ehost-live.