Weird History
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20 Sobering Photos of Segregation at Work in 20th Century America

Updated April 15, 2020 167.3k views20 items

The award-winning film Loving, which tells the story of the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the prohibition against interracial marriage, left modern audiences wondering about the extent to which laws that intended to keep "white" and "colored" citizens separate invaded and dictated both public and private spaces in the United States. 

"Jim Crow" segregation is the name given to the extensive and varied body of laws that zoned the United States into supposedly "separate but equal" territories for people based on their presumed racial status. From water fountains and public schools to train compartments and romantic relationships, Jim Crow laws mandated segregated spaces from the end of Reconstruction in the late 1890s until the 1960s. The 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v Board of Education (which overturned segregated schools on the grounds of them being separate but totally unequal)initiated the end of legally codified Jim Crow segregation. However, it's taken civil rights activists decades to fight the individual laws that lingered on even past this decision.