With minor modifications for brevity, this is straight from wikipedia:
I know most of you out there know your basic American history but let’s have a quick review.Â Thanks primarily to Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson we don’t deal with these things as a problem in the written law any more. We do however continue to deal with the results… we continue to see separate situations in the American education system between white and black for example, but more on that later. Thanks to Tom Tancredo we have to revisit the meaning of this history:
A definition of Jim Crow laws: “The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly “separate but equal” status for black Americans. In reality, this led to accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided for white Americans which brought on a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages.
Some examples of Jim Crow laws were the segregation of public schools, public places and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms and restaurants for whites and blacks. The U.S. military was also segregated. State-sponsored school segregation was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education. Generally, the remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
Who is this Jim Crow guy?
The origin of the phrase “Jim Crow” has often been attributed to “Jump Jim Crow”, a song-and-dance caricature of African Americans performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface, which first surfaced in 1832 and was used to satirize Andrew Jackson’s populist policies. The phrase “Jim Crow Law” first appeared in 1904 according to the Dictionary of American English, although there is some evidence of earlier usage