The Fight against African American Women and the Jim Crow Era

The African-American women play an astonishing role in the fight and struggle against Jim Crow. Jim Crow was a character in a song by Daddy Rice, a white man who painted his face to portray a black male. Jim Crow was a disrespectful charter that made black people seem dim-witted.  It was furthermore a very insulting word to the African Americans much like the word nigger. “In the 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites, as members of a caste of subordinate people” (The history of Jim Crow). Shortly after the Civil War, black women were slowly moving past slavery. They had high hopes of being housewives and did not want to work in the fields and tend to farms anymore.  The desperately wanted to raise their children and be mothers like the white women had been living for years. The Jim Crow Era made this almost impossible for the African American families. The era brought mobs that would beat black men, making their voice unheard in political statements and keeping men out of industrial work place. Since the black me had no say in the matters of their towns, jobs were giving to the “trusted” white men. This often put a burden on the wives, seeing as they would be the strong ones for their broken families. Black women would rely on their families and friends to stick together and support each other to pursue their civil rights they so rightly deserved and have a voice in America’s culture.

African American women were becoming a great deal more educated than any gender or race in the 1900s. Young black men would often tend to the fields to support their families. This meant neglecting their education to keep they family together. The women were giving lead way in the fight Jim Crow, and by studying hard to be leaders to end the battle. The women began to organize clubs that supported “anti-lynching legislation, suffrage for women, and the availability of higher education for both sexes” (The history of Jim Crow).

Perhaps one of the greatest organizations in African American history was the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). The black women were fighting for their rights in the world. The organization raised money to help further education, provide shelter, fund black schools, and healthcare needs. This was brought together by different cubs to promote women rights and to bring racial encouragement. Mary Church Terrell was the organization’s first president. The motto for NACW was “Lifting as we climb”. Terrell was a determined woman and lead her organization with these words, “Too long have we been silent under unjust and unholy charges; we cannot expect to have them removed until we disprove them through ourselves.” There were over 1,000 cubs all over America supporting each other through those rough times. They had faith that they would be treated as equals.

Organizations were in play for the Jim Crow Era against African Americans. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was working against the Fifteenth Amendment in an attempt to establish white supremacy. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in Tennessee with a rapidly growing population that was soon to be ran and operated illegally, by the Southern States. The KKK was a group of white supremacist that conducted raids and random acts of extreme violence to scare African Americans out of voting. This tactic was used as a part of the KKK campaign to declare ultimate white supremacy in the South. The blacks lost a lot of lives due to the blood spilling cult.

Given that the Fifteenth Amendment was not successful in protecting the African American’s rights to vote, due to the KKK operation. Congress passed a new act called the Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871. The Enforcement acts of 1870 coupled with the Fifteenth Amendment provided better protection for African Americans against violence and discrimination.

Even though the war was over it was still very difficult times for the Back culture. In 1890-1906 every south state turned on the blacks and enacted laws to do away with black voting all together. Although the fifteen amendment states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Southern founded new laws they could use against them. They passed a poll tax law, making it impossible for black people to vote. It was not until 1891 that the Supreme Court granted its approval to throw away the law keeping the blacks from voting due to the fourteenth amendment.

The road of accomplishments in the 1877-1920’s African Americans did change the world. Many whites refused to treat freed slaves equally despite to passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court tried very hard to provide equal opportunities for African American’s within the context of the new amendments. There were many unfair times and a time that the law twisted in the white man’s favor but they still fought for their rights as citizens. African Americans did begin to be treated more fairly as the mid 1900’s progressed. If the African American culture did not fight for their freedom in these hard times we would not have our president today. African Americans have showed this country that without our diverse race we would not be the land of the free. I wrote this paper because I wanted to people to understand how strong black women were in the south. This tells a story that some people might not be familiar with.

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