Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The systematic practice of discriminating against and segregating Black people, especially as practiced in the American South from the end of Reconstruction to the mid-20th century.
  • adj. Upholding or practicing discrimination against and segregation of Black people: Jim Crow laws; a Jim Crow town.
  • adj. Reserved or set aside for a racial or ethnic group that is to be discriminated against: "I told them I wouldn't take a Jim Crow job” ( Ralph Bunche).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A generic name for the Negro.
  • proper n. Southern United States racist and especially segregationist policies in the late 1800s and early to mid 1900s, taken collectively.
  • n. A World War II code name for patrols along the British coastline to intercept enemy aircraft, originally intended to warn of invasion in 1940.
  • adj. Discriminatory against African Americans.
  • adj. Segregated between African Americans and Caucasians.

Etymologies

From obsolete Jim Crow, derogatory name for a Black person, ultimately from the title of a 19th-century minstrel song.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the minstrel show song "Jump Jim Crow", written in 1828 by Thomas D. Rice, the originator of blackface performance. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Rosa Parks was promptly arrested for her willful disregard for what were known as the Jim Crow laws.

    HAVE YOU SEEN MY COUNTRY LATELY?

  • LAMB: Did you ever know what the origin is of the name Jim Crow?

    Lion in the Lobby: Clarence Mitchell Jr.'s

  • Pierce said his mother was hurt and insulted by the film, because her experience was, in fact, significantly worse than what was portrayed in the film what he was referring to as "Jim Crow lite".

    NPR Topics: News

  • Don't you realize that the infamous vicious regime know as Jim Crow died, and that all Americans are living in a Kumbaya-Shangrila-Utopia of racial bliss?

    BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS

  • Then, again, in the 1950’s, another religious leader gave birth to a different kind of racism; which we know as the Jim Crow era.

    Uncovering America with Joe Johns

  • Just days before the Wrigley exhibition, the U.S. Navy announced that, despite yawning manpower shortages, it would delay induction of black sailors until segregated barracks at Chicago’s Great Lakes Naval Training Station could be completed.75 Maintaining Jim Crow, in other words, took precedence over mobilizing for a world war.

    Satch, Dizzy & Rapid Robert

  • But during the long period of legalized segregation known as Jim Crow, his reputation plummeted.

    An Angry Prophet

  • Certainly the inscription-wall quotations should have focused exclusively on his crusade against Jim Crow, which is the reason he has a memorial near Thomas Jefferson's, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's and Abraham Lincoln's.

    In Search of Dr. King

  • America's first Reconstruction was a time of promise and unfulfilled dreams, of universal public education and the Freedmen's Bureau, of 40 acres and a mule rescinded, and of federal troops leaving freed slaves to the whims of the Klan and the Crow -- Jim Crow, that is.

    David A. Love: Americans Would Doom an American Reconstruction Effort to Failure

  • Since they were called Jim Crow laws, it most definitely was a government program.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Bruce Bartlett’s Attack on Libertarianism

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