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Jim Crow Guide to the U.S.A.

The Laws, Customs and Etiquette Governing the Conduct of Nonwhites and Other Minorities as Second-Class Citizens

Stetson Kennedy

Publication Year: 2011

Jim Crow Guide documents the system of legally imposed American apartheid that prevailed during what Stetson Kennedy calls "the long century from Emancipation to the Overcoming." The mock guidebook covers every area of activity where the tentacles of Jim Crow reached. From the texts of state statutes, municipal ordinances, federal regulations, and judicial rulings, Kennedy exhumes the legalistic skeleton of Jim Crow in a work of permanent value for scholars and of exceptional appeal for general readers.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

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Why This Guide

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pp. 7-8

While there are many guides to the U.S.A., this is the only one which faces the fact that despite the affirmation of the American Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, in America in reality some are more equal than others. ...

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1. No Room for Redskins

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pp. 9-25

... For whether he really believed it or not, the white man has acted on the principle that "The only good Indian is a dead one". This was certainly one of the foundation stones upon which the white European invaders of North America and their descendants established and built the republic of the U.S.A. ...

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2. White Man's Country

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pp. 26-36

... This Republic was established by White Men. It was established for White Men. Our forefathers never intended that it should fall into the hands of an inferior race. Every effort to wrest from White Men the management of its affairs in order to transfer it to the control ...

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3. America's Great Wall

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pp. 37-46

According to legend, the United States of America is a "meltingpot" of the peoples of the world. The fact is, however, that the ingredients which have gone into the pot have been carefully screened for whiteness. ...

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4. Who is Coloured Where

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pp. 47-57

... In fact, you will find there are intrastate as well as interstate variations in the legal definitions of what constitutes a coloured person, and conversely who may qualify as white. Hence a person rated as white in one state may be labelled coloured in another state, and be segregated accordingly. ...

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5. Who may Marry Whom

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pp. 58-71

... The Constitution of the U.S.A. says that "full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state". However, a Federal court has ruled that this "full faith and credit" clause does not require any state to recognize marriages which are contrary to the local idea of morality such as an interracial marriage in one of the states which forbid such marriages. ...

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6. Who may Live Where

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pp. 72-85

... But if you lack one or both of these qualifications you will find yourself barred by one or more such factors as laws, contracts, conspiracies, and terrorism from buying, leasing, renting, inheriting or otherwise acquiring or occupying a residence in many neighbourhoods, both desirable and undesirable. ...

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7. Who may Study Where

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pp. 86-108

... The system of separate schools for white and Negro children, imposed by law for nearly three-quarters of a century in seventeen states and the nation's capital, has been most conducive to inequality of opportunity. Although the U.S. Supreme Court was at length prevailed upon in 1954 to rule against compulsory race segregation in the public schools, the decision has been slow ...

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8. Who may Work Where

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pp. 109-130

... Don't be surprised, however, if you take the trouble to read that article and fail to find any facts or figures in substantiation of its title. For the truth is that the facts and figures (which the Information Agency does not publish) reveal a vast amount of segregation and discrimination in the economic life of the nation. ...

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9. Who are Subject to Forced Labour

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pp. 131-146

Although there is nothing whatever in the u.s. Constitution guaranteeing the right to work, all of the 48 states have so-called vagrancy laws making it a criminal offence to be without work. This, in spite of the fact that there is what the business community politely refers to as a "normal float" of from three to five million unemployed -a job shortage which increases periodically to as much as fifteen million. ...

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10. Who may Vote Where

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pp. 147-164

... Not so, however, if you are a Negro American and live in the South. So far as black folk are concerned, there has not been a free election held in that region since Federal troops were withdrawn from it after the election of 1876. ...

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11. Look Out for the Law

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pp. 165-177

... The legal disability of the Negro in America has roots which go deep into the history of the country. As a chattel slave, there was little or nothing the Negro was permitted to say in court. Prior to emancipation, "free persons of color" also had their legal rights severely delimited by the Black Codes. ...

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12. Who may Travel How

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pp. 178-189

Official U.S. manuals boast that the Supreme Court ruled against race segregation on interstate trains in 1944, interstate buses in 1946, dining cars in 1950, and local and intrastate common carriers in 1956. ...

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13. Open to All (Whites)

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pp. 190-202

... About that same time the Reconstruction legislatures of five former Confederate states-Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Mississippi-adopted similar civil rights laws (this was, of course, before the poor whites and Negroes were disfranchised by the Klan terror). But with the exception of Louisiana, all these laws were repealed when ...

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14. The Dictates of Racist Etiquette

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pp. 203-227

... There exists a special interracial etiquette to govern such relations. You will find it well-nigh inviolate in the Southern states, but no matter where you go in the U.S.A. you may encounter groups and individuals who insist upon its observance to one degree or another. ...

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Alarum and Excursion

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pp. 228-230

It goes without saying-the author's tongue-in-cheek having more than once slipped and betrayed his indignation-that this has been a mock guide, couched in the jargon of tourism, simply to point out the Way of White Supremacy in all its ugliness. And so wherever it says "you should", of course you should not; for racism is the obverse ...


E-ISBN-13: 9780817385644
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817356712

Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- Social conditions.
  • African Americans -- Segregation.
  • Race discrimination -- United States.
  • United States -- Race relations.
  • Minorities -- United States -- Social conditions.
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