The Jim Crow Era: From Minstrel Show to Public Policy

By now, most people in this country are aware of the brutal and unfair treatment melanated citizens had to endure in the Jim Crow era.

These laws were basically government backed provision’s that prevented melanated people from being on an even playing field with their white counterparts. 

What many people don’t know is how the term “Jim Crow” came to be.

In 1828, a man by the name of Thomas Dartmouth a minstrel show performer created the song titled “Jump Jim Crow” after being inspired by the dancing of a disabled slave named Jim Cuff or Jim Crow.

Dartmouth mockingly performed the song in blackface and it became a hit in the 19th century becoming a key part in initiating popular music into American culture.

By 1838, “Jim Crow” was synonymous with African American and from this, the “Jim Crow” laws were born.







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