Jim Crow and Civil Rights VS. 8b, VS. 9c Reconstruction was a time of hope
for African Americans. No longer slaves, they built churches and schools, and began new lives with family and new businesses. In 1868, the 14th Amendment said
that African Americans born in the United States could officially be citizens. Two years later, the 15th Amendment
said states could not deny black men the right to vote. In the same year, a new Virginia law said that there had to be public schools for all Virginia children, so the General
Assembly created schools for white children, and colored schools for African American children. Answer the questions with the teacher.
After Reconstruction, though, a lot of this progress was lost. Jim Crow laws were passed by Southern states. These Jim Crow
laws made it legal to have segregation. But who was Jim Crow? Well, this was before TV and movies, so people went to
live shows. Singing, dancing, and joketelling shows were called Minstrel shows. In the 1830s, before the Civil War, a white singer smeared charcoal on his face, pretended he was black, and did a silly dance while singing Jump Jim Crow.
White audiences howled with laughter, and the name Jim Crow became a way to refer to racial discrimination. Answer the questions with the teacher.
The court case in 1892 that made segregation legal was called Plessy v. Ferguson. It happened because a black man named Homer Plessy went to jail
for riding in a white car on a Louisiana train instead of the colored car. The court case said that a state could make people of different races ride in separate cars as long as the facilities
were equal. They were rarely equal. Segregation means to separate people, usually based on race or religion.
Answer the questions with the teacher. Segregation being legal reinforced a lot of
discrimination and racist ideas in the South. Discrimination is unfairly treating people differently.
Even more, in 1924, the General Assembly of Virginia passed the Racial Integrity Act. It divided people into two groups: white people, and everyone else.
The Racial Integrity Act made it so that no matter how little or how much African ancestry a person had, they would be
colored, and nothing else. Asians and Indians were also considered colored. Answer the questions with the teacher.
Jim Crow affected all Americans in many ways. 1. The 15th Amendment
guaranteed black men the right to vote. To stop them from voting, many Southern states began to charge black men high taxes to vote.
2. The 15th Amendment guaranteed black men the right to vote. To stop them from voting, many Southern states began to
write unfair tests that were almost impossible to pass. With most black men unable to vote, back candidates could not get elected.
3. Black children went to all black schools. White children went to all white schools. Indians even went to their own separate schools. If a school wasnt white, it usually had far less
money to spend. Children learned in crumbling school buildings, books were scarce, classes were overcrowded, and there werent enough teachers.
4. Blacks were forced to use restrooms that were inferior to white restrooms. There were even broken-down drinking fountains. A lot of African
Americans were stopped from going in to many restaurants. African Americans had to sit at the backs of buses and in tiny
balconies in the back of movie theaters. In so many ways, African Americans and other people of color were mistreated and had to use bad
quality facilities. Answer the questions with the teacher. In Prince Edward County, the
black high school, Robert Russa Moton High, was no match for the nearby white schools. It didnt have science labs, a gym, or a cafeterianothing like
that. It was very overcrowded. Black teachers, students, and parents wanted a new black high school. A group of students, led
by 16-year-old Barbara Johns, led a student walkout. They asked a civil rights attorney named Oliver Hill to help them if they sued for an end to segregation.
The actions of Barbara Johns, her classmates, and the black community led to the lawsuit Davis v. Prince Edward County.
When it went to the Supreme Court, it joined with other cases, like Brown v. Board of Education.
In 1954, the Supreme court threw out the rule of separate but equal and said that all states must stop segregating students by race. Schools were
supposed to integrate now. Answer the questions with the teacher. Schools now had to
desegregate, and begin to integrate. Desegregate means to abolish or stop segregation. Integration is when people of
all races have equal use of public facilities and services. Finally, students of all races could learn together. An African American could use a
white water fountain or restroom. Answer the questions with the teacher.
But the trouble was far from over Virginias government began to establish something called Massive
Resistance. Laws under Massive Resistance closed the newly desegregated public schools. They did not want the schools to integrate. They used state money
to create private schools for white students only. In September of 1959, Prince Edward County did not open a
single public school. Instead, white students went to Prince Edward Academya private school.
Black students only had this choice: either leave Prince Edward County (which was not so easy), or dont go to school at all.
Harry F. Byrd, Sr. was the governor of Virginia at one point. He was later elected into the U.S. Senate to represent
Virginia. He was the biggest person against integrating schools, and supported Massive Resistance.
In 1964, five years later, the Supreme Court ordered Prince Edwards schools to reopen. Black students could finally attend desegregated schools. Virginia
struggled to integrate for many years, though. Not many white students joined these schools at first.
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