Jim Crow Laws: 1 What, if anything, did you find to be the most surprising about Jim Crow laws?

The most discriminatory segregation laws of the early 20th century were called “Jim Crow” laws. These were local, county, and state laws (in a majority of states, not just the southern United States) designed to keep whites and blacks separate. These practices also took place in states where they were not codified into law.

Questions
1 What, if anything, did you find to be the most surprising about Jim Crow laws?
2 How is the name of this code of laws related to the blackface minstrel show? (If you had already heard of Jim Crow laws, did you know about the connection to the blackface minstrel show?)
3 Write a short essay in three paragraphs: The first paragraph should be on the specific negative stereotypes that emerged from the blackface minstrel show. The second paragraph should describe how these stereotypes quickly spread through the southern and northern United States. [This was discussed in class but is also included in the YouTube documentary at the above link.] The third paragraph should discuss examples of how these stereotypes continued to impact American society in the 20th century and today. [This can be examples discussed in class and from your group’s in-class research.]
4 Personal Reflection: In your opinion, did the minstrel show result in any positive advancement for African Americans (as a group or just as entertainers) regardless of the racial overtones of the genre? How might your opinion be shaped by your own cultural background?

5 How did the music of the minstrel show contribute to later musical styles? What other forms of entertainment “evolved” from the minstrel show? [This was from your reading on Homework 5 and from class discussion. Also see your “African-American Music” chart if you were in class when we added minstrel show information.]

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