Following the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865) and the abolition of slavery, African Americans entered the country’s social mainstream with new rights including citizenship and the right to vote. However, their rights were quickly undermined by a series of Supreme Court rulings establishing the legal segregation of whites and blacks. Racism was still a prevalent feature of everyday life in the United States, and in many places, particularly in the Southern states, blacks were widely viewed as second-class citizens.
Segregation was achieved through a series of statutes informally known as the Jim Crow laws that instituted the physical separation of whites and blacks in public spaces, which included transportation, schools, accommodations, and recreational areas. The US Armed Forces,...Read more