Examples of Jim Crow Laws

The following examples of segregation are excerpts from examples of Jim Crow laws shown on the National Park Service website.

The examples include anti-miscegenation laws; though sometimes counted among the "Jim Crow laws" of the South, those laws had also existed outside the South for many years. Anti-miscegenation laws were not repealed by the Civil Rilhts Act of 1964 but were declared unconstitutional in the 1960 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia.

Alabama

"All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races."

Arizona

"The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a Negro, Mongolian, Malay, or Hindu shall be null and void."

Arkansas

Various laws from 1766 to 1957 prohibited marriage or relations between whites and blacks or mulattoes, providing for specific fines and imprisonment of up to three years.[1]

Various laws from 1891 to 1959 segregated rail travel, streetcars, buses, all public carriers, race tracks, gaming establishments, polling places, washrooms in mines, tuberculosis hospitals, public schools and teachers' colleges.

A poll tax was first imposed in the 1890s.

Florida

"All marriages between a white person and a Negro, or between a white person and a person of Negro descent to the fourth generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited."

"Any Negro man and white woman, or any white man and Negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred ($500.00) dollars."

"The schools for white children and the schools for Negro children shall be conducted separately."

Georgia

"All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license."

"It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race."

Kentucky

"The children of white and colored races committed to the houses of reform shall be kept entirely separate from each other."

Louisiana

"Any person who shall rent any part of any such building to a Negro person or a Negro family when such building is already in whole or in part in occupancy by a white person or white family, or vice versa when the building is in occupancy by a Negro person or Negro family, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five ($25.00) nor more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars or be imprisoned not less than 10, or more than 60 days, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court."

Maryland

"All railroad companies and corporations, and all persons running or operating cars or coaches by steam on any railroad line or track in the State of Maryland, for the transportation of passengers, are hereby required to provide separate cars or coaches for the travel and transportation of the white and colored passengers."

Mississippi

"Any person...who shall be guilty of printing, publishing or circulating printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of intermarriage between whites and Negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine or not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both."

Missouri

"Separate free schools shall be established for the education of children of African descent; and it shall be unlawful for any colored child to attend any white school, or any white child to attend a colored school."

New Mexico

"Separate rooms [shall] be provided for the teaching of pupils of African descent, and [when] said rooms are so provided, such pupils may not be admitted to the school rooms occupied and used by pupils of Caucasian or other descent."

North Carolina

"Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them. "

"The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals."

Oklahoma

"The [Conservation] Commission shall have the right to make segregation of the white and colored races as to the exercise of rights of fishing, boating and bathing."

"The baths and lockers for the negroes shall be separate from the white race, but may be in the same building."

"The Corporation Commission is hereby vested with power and authority to require telephone companies... to maintain separate booths for white and colored patrons when there is a demand for such separate booths. That the Corporation Commission shall determine the necessity for said separate booths only upon complaint of the people in the town and vicinity to be served after due hearing as now provided by law in other complaints filed with the Corporation Commission."

South Carolina

"No persons, firms, or corporations, who or which furnish meals to passengers at station restaurants or station eating houses, in times limited by common carriers of said passengers, shall furnish said meals to white and colored passengers in the same room, or at the same table, or at the same counter."

"It shall be unlawful for any parent, relative, or other white person in this State, having the control or custody of any white child, by right of guardianship, natural or acquired, or otherwise, to dispose of, give or surrender such white child permanently into the custody, control, maintenance, or support, of a negro."

Texas

Twenty-seven Jim Crow laws were passed in the Lone Star state from 1866 to 1958. Some examples include:

1950: Separate facilities required for white and black citizens in state parks

1953: Public carriers to be segregated

1957: No child compelled to attend schools that are racially mixed. No desegregation unless approved by election. Governor may close schools where troops used on federal authority.

Virginia

"Every person... operating... any public hall, theater, opera house, motion picture show or any place of public entertainment or public assemblage which is attended by both white and colored persons, shall separate the white race and the colored race and shall set apart and designate... certain seats therein to be occupied by white persons and a portion thereof, or certain seats therein, to be occupied by colored persons."

"The conductors or managers on all such railroads shall have power, and are hereby required, to assign to each white or colored passenger his or her respective car, coach or compartment. If the passenger fails to disclose his race, the conductor and managers, acting in good faith, shall be the sole judges of his race."

West Virginia

"White and colored persons shall not be taught in the same school."

This point-blank requirement for segregated schools was proclaimed in West Virginia's State Constitution as Article XII Section 8. In a remarkable show of the persistence of segregationist attitudes extending to the highest levels of state government, numerous attempts to remove this article from the constitution were defeated in the state legislature until it was finally repealed on Nov 8, 1994. 

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