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

Ryleigh Nucilli
108.3k views 20 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.

Drinking Fountain in Halifax, NC, 1938


Drinking Fountain in Halifax, ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Sobering Photos of Segregation at Work in 20th Century America
Photo: Vachon, John, 1914-1975/via Wikimedia Commons

Anti-Integration Protest, Little Rock, AR, 1959


Anti-Integration Protest, Litt... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Sobering Photos of Segregation at Work in 20th Century America
Photo: John T. Bledsoe - Library of Congress/via Wikimedia Commons

Waiting Room in Durham, NC, 1940


Waiting Room in Durham, NC, 19... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Sobering Photos of Segregation at Work in 20th Century America
Photo: Jack Delano, Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Marching for Integrated Schools, Washington, DC, 1963


Marching for Integrated School... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Sobering Photos of Segregation at Work in 20th Century America
Photo: Warren Leffler/U.S. Library of Congress