• Black History Month badge

29 Disturbing Pictures Of American Life Under Jim Crow

"Let us look at Jim Crow for the criminal he is and what he has done to one life multiplied millions of times over these United States and the world." —Rosa Parks

Until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, what became known vernacularly as "Jim Crow laws" wedged a painful and dehumanizing racial divide between black and white Americans, the repercussions of which are still felt to this day. While the prevalence of racially motivated bigotry was met with activism and protest, images of the Jim Crow laws in effect are less commonly seen than those from the civil rights movement.

Following the Reconstruction period after the American Civil War, a number of state and local laws were enacted to keep black populations of American citizens separate from their white counterparts. In 1896, following the critical case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the US Supreme Court ruled that as long as segregated facilitates remained "separate but equal," racial segregation did not violate the US Constitution. Here in pictures are many of the common sights during what became known as the Jim Crow era.