Beginning shortly after the Civil War and continuing into the 1960s large sections of America were subjected to unjust laws that eventually became collectively known as “Jim Crow” laws. These laws attempted to continue the segregation and subjugation of African Americans.
The Jim Crow History website has a number of great resources. A variety of essays discuss, in depth, the origins of the term Jim Crow as well as the details of living with these laws. Information on literary works that deal with Jim Crow laws and teacher resources are also available.
The History of the Supreme Court has a detailed over view of several of the cases that defined the era of Jim Crow laws. The cases of Brown v. Board of Education, Missouri v. Jenkins, Mitchell v. U.S., New York Times v. Sullivan are discussed in length including an overview of what led to the cases, the rulings, and how they impacted the nation.
The National Park Service website has created a website that lists the sites around the country that played a significant role in the elimination of the Jim Crow laws. Maps, history, and information about these sites are all provided.
Ferris State University has a website dedicated to racist memorabilia from the Jim Crow era. Examples of various Jim Crow laws are listed as are the typical signs found from the time that informed people where they could sit, drink, eat, and be served. Caricatures and artwork can also be found along with explanations about the items and the reason behind building the collection.
The Library of Congress website has a section devoted specifically to Brown v. Board of Education that details a previously held collection that examined the court’s decision and the periods of time around that decision, on its fiftieth anniversary.
PBS has an interactive timeline detailing “A Century of Segregation”. Visitors can choose to browse by year to be given a closer look at what events happened during that time frame and can then click on specific topics to gather even more information.
American Radio Works has compiled a list of Jim Crow laws. These are separated by topic, such as education, entertainment, and health care. They are further identified by the state the law was created.
The Bartleby website provides a succinct overview of the history of Jim Crow laws.
The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition website has numerous documents that detail the struggles African Americans faced. The section on segregation has a number of items including those that discuss Jim Crow laws, the Jim Crow car, and Plessy v. Ferguson .
Teachers looking for lesson plans with resources that can be downloaded can visit Learn NC which has links to resources, online activities, and thorough instructions. The EdSitement website, maintained by the National Endowment for the Humanities has a lesson plan created around To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.