What is Apartheid? What is Jim Crow?

What is Apartheid?

In 1948 the minority white National party in South Africa introduced the system of apartheid by passing laws that controlled where the non-white majority population could live, work, trade, go to school, and even whom they could marry. This cruel, oppressive and unfair system was based on two false beliefs: people of different colour classification could not live together and white people are superior to non-white people. People classified as black, coloured and Indian were removed from the cities and placed in townships and rural areas with limited access to jobs and proper schools.

What is Jim Crow?

Jim Crow was a set of laws, rules, and social practices established after Reconstruction (end of the Civil War & the legal end of slavery), beginning in the 1877s and enforced into the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was rooted in anti-Black racism and the ideology of white supremacy, which violently reinforced the belief that whites were superior to blacks. Jim Crow laws, also known as “black codes,” differed from state to state, and included the legal segregation of Blacks from whites in restaurants, transportation, cemeteries and other social gathering places, etc. Jim Crow became more prevalent with the occurrence of legal cases. The Supreme Court Case “Plessy vs. Ferguson” formally established a legal argument for “separate but equal.” Brown v. Board of Education, put in motion the formal dismantling of Jim Crow laws. However, people in the U.S. still experience the impact and legacy of Jim Crow laws.

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