Jim Crow Laws Are Accepted As Constitutional

1896

In response to efforts in the southern states to segregate people by race — “Jim Crow” laws and practices — Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which guarantees equal rights to all citizens in all public places. When African Americans are denied equal accommodations they sue, but in 1883 the Supreme Court rules that the Fourteenth Amendment deals with discrimination by the states, not by individuals. Then in Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court upholds a Louisiana law that segregates railroad cars, reasoning that if the law provides equal accommodations it does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.