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Jan 2014
From the 1880s into the 1960s, a majority of American states enforced segregation through "Jim Crow" laws (so called after a black character in minstrel shows). From Delaware to California, and from North Dakota to Texas, many states (and cities, too) could impose legal punishments on people for consorting with members of another race. The most common types of laws forbade intermarriage and ordered business owners and public institutions to keep their black and white clientele separated.

Examples of Jim Crow Laws

Nurses: No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which ***** men are placed. (Alabama)

Buses: All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for white and colored races. (Alabama)

Railroads: The conductor of each passenger train is authorized and required to assign each passenger to the car or the division of the car, when it is divided by a partition, designated for the race to which such passenger belongs. (Alabama)

Restaurants: It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectively separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment.

Pool and Billiard Rooms: It shall be unlawful for a ***** and white person to play together or in company with each other at any game of pool or billiards. (Alabama)

Toilet Facilities, Male: Every employer of white or ***** males shall provide for such white or ***** males reasonably accessible and separate toilet facilities. (Alabama)

Intermarriage: The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a *****, Mongolian, Malay, or Hindu shall be null and void. (Arizona)

Intermarriage: All marriages between a white person and a ***** person or between a white person and a person of ***** descent to the fourth generation inclusive, are hereby forever prohibited. (Florida)

Cohabitation: Any ***** man and white women, or any white man and ***** 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. (Florida)

Education: The schools for white children and the schools for ***** children shall be conducted separately. (Florida)

Juvenile Delinquents: There shall be separate buildings, not nearer than one fourth mile from each other, one for white boys and one for ***** boys. White boys and ***** boys shall not, in any manner, be associated together or worked together. (Florida)

Mental Hospitals: The Board of Control shall see that proper and distinct apartments are arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together. (Georgia)

Intermarriage: It shall be unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person. Any marriage in violation of this section shall be void. (Georgia)

Barbers: No colored barber shall serve as a barber [to] white women or girls. (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. (Georgia)

Restaurants: 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. (Georgia)

Amateur Baseball: 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 ***** 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. (Georgia)
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Lost in shadows
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