The Jim Crow era ended nearly 50 years ago with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which restored African-Americans to full citizenship in the United States after a century of legalized oppression. As the era fades deeper and deeper into the past, Americans are rapidly forgetting the historical realities of Jim Crow. Most of us weren’t even born when Jim Crow mercifully came to an end. Therefore, most of us never personally experienced one of the ugliest and most shameful chapters in American history.
This brief paper is not intended to be an exhaustive academic treatise about the Jim Crow era. Instead, its purpose is to reacquaint readers with the most important aspects of that time by addressing Jim Crow’s white supremacist culture, how it was enforced, and the politics of the era.
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