In the tumultuous years following the United States Civil War, the federal government was faced with two conflicting challenges: to reincorporate the eleven states that had seceded from the Union, and to define and implement a strategy for ensuring the economic, political, and social rights of newly-freed black Americans.
Radical Republicans, with support from the United States Army and the Freedmen's Bureau, led the effort to pass and implement laws that ensured first-class citizenship for blacks. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution (1868) affirmed that black Americans were citizens of the United States and entitled to due process and equal protection under the law. The 15th Amendment (1870) stated that the right of citizens to vote "shall not be denied...on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
Conservative white southerners, and their northern allies in the Democratic Party, opposed all efforts to extend human rights to blacks. By 1877, the white southerners who wanted blacks "re-enslaved" had won; the new "slavery" was Jim Crow segregation.
- From the "Reconstruction" timeline at the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, cited below
Featured below are some general resources, both articles and online collections about Jim Crow Segregation. View the other tabs in this box for more specific information about how segregation permeated all areas of life.
Featured here is the guidebook, popularly known as "The Green Book," that was created for African Americans beginning in the 1930s in order to help them locate places that were safe for them when traveling - such as gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, rest stops, hotels, and more. Access the digitized collection of these books and see many of the related sources linked below.
Linked below are articles, from both background and popular sources, about segregated transportation during the Jim Crow era. See the related tab for info on school segregation.
(click on image to enlarge, cited below)
Background and Popular Source Articles
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