Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CRAZY!

Black history, civil rights, and segregation are topics I have always been interested in. When I think back on the way things used to be it boggles my mind. I just cannot image growing up during a time when African Americans were treated so poorly. I wonder if I would have been against it had I been alive during that time? Or would I have been right there with so many white people that believed they were superior to black people? I'd like to think I would be a rebel who believed in peace, love, and happiness regardless of the color of your skin.

I've been thinking a lot about this since reading The Help written by Kathryn Stockett. There is a character in the book named Eugenia (Skeeter) who comes from a prominent white family and has just graduated from Old Miss. She aspires to be a writer, and later in the story secretly writes a novel from the perspective of the African American maids who work for white families.

At one point in the story, Skeeter is doing research in the library and comes across a booklet filled with Jim Crowe laws. For those of you that do not know what Jim Crowe is, here's a quick explanation I found on http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm:

Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-Black laws. It was a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated (assigned--I had to look that word up!) to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-Black racism.





Pretty gross, huh?

In the book, the author lists some of the laws under Jim Crowe. I went on the internet to search more in-dept on some of these laws. Here are four laws that were implemented in NC: (more can be found HERE)

1. Textbooks: Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall be continued to be used by the race first using them.

2. Libraries: 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.

3. Militia: The white and colored militia shall be separately enrolled, and shall never be compelled to serve in the same organization. The organization of colored troops shall not be permitted where white troops are available, and colored troops shall be under the command of white officers.

4. Transportation: The Utilities Commission is empowered and directed to require the establishment of separate waiting rooms at all stations for the white and colored races.

Would you like to know how I feel about these laws? I think they're total bullshit, that's what I think. Disgusting and terribly sad.

Look at this law that used to stand in Georgia:

Burial: The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons.

Ummmm, THEY'RE DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe this was a law!!

I am so happy this garbage doesn't exist today. But we all know that there are still people out there who have hate in their hearts for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian, White folks, etc. I could really write on this subject all day...



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