The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
Jim Crow Stories
A National Struggle
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A National Struggle
Introduction The President The Congress The Supreme Court

Racial inequality was not unique to the South. It was the norm across the nation, and other regions of the United States saw similar violence and state-sanctioned discrimination. Though Jim Crow and its specific laws and practices occurred in the South, the system thrived because it was sanctioned by the national government. The actions -- or, more frequently, inactions -- of the three branches of the federal government were essential in defining the lifespan of Jim Crow.

The President
Few presidents used their power, or even the bully pulpit, to challenge "white supremacy." In fact, many endorsed it.go
The Congress
Wary of challenging the sovereignty of Southern states -- and the inevitable political fallout -- for many years Congress was largely silent.
The Supreme Court
Initially highly supportive of Jim Crow laws, the Supreme Court -- prompted by relentless legal challenges -- eventually found many of them to be unconstitutional.
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