From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Jim Crow (term)

It is not definitively clear how the term "Jim Crow" came to be associated with the segregation of African Americans and whites in the United States. The use of the term was expanded to define a certain genre of music in the 1830s. Abolitionist newspapers in Massachusetts were using the term in the 1840s in reference to the segregated railway cars. By the 1890s the term was applied to segregation and exclusion laws and norms in border states and the south. By the 1940s the term had been further used to define behavior, speech, violence, and other forms of discrimination and segregation. Also in the 1940s, the term was used by the military to refer to lookout units or individual men in such units. For more see the Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, vol. 3, 2nd edition, ed. by C. Palmer; and the Oxford English Dictionary.



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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Jim Crow (term),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 14, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:22