This Week on OUR COMMON GROUND
"Evil Well Financed and Determined"
Disenfranchisement Laws and Jim Crow
OCG Hosts, Janice Graham & Dr. James L. Taylor
Saturday, March 27, 2021 ::: 10 pm ET
Call-In & Listen Line: (347) 838-9852
Jim Crow” was developed as a derisive slang term for a Black man. It came to mean any state law passed in the South that established different rules for blacks and whites. Jim Crow laws were based on the theory of white supremacy and were a reaction to Reconstruction. In the depression-racked 1890s, racism appealed to whites who feared losing their jobs to Blacks.
Politicians abused Blacks to win the votes of poor white “crackers.” Newspapers fed the bias of white readers by playing up (sometimes even making up) Black crimes and reporting based on Black stereotypes.
In 1898 the U.S. Supreme Court sealed the fate of Black Americans when it upheld a Mississippi law designed to deny Black men the vote. Given the green light, Southern states began to limit the voting right to those who owned property or could read well, to those whose grandfathers had been able to vote, to those with “good characters,” to those who paid poll taxes. In 1896, Louisiana had 130,334 registered Black voters. Eight years later, only 1,342, 1 percent, could pass the state’s new rules.