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Jim Crow

or jim crow

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noun

a practice or policy of segregating or discriminating against Black people, as in public places, public vehicles, or employment.
Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a Black person.

adjective Sometimes Jim-Crow .

favoring or supporting a segregationist or discriminatory policy of Jim Crow.
for Black people only: a Jim Crow school.

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Origin of Jim Crow

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; so called from the name of a song sung by Thomas Rice (1808–60) in a minstrel show
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for Jim Crow

jim crow
/ (ˈdʒɪm ˈkrəʊ) /

noun (often capitals) US

  1. the policy or practice of segregating Black people
  2. (as modifier)jim-crow laws
  1. a derogatory term for a Black person
  2. (as modifier)a jim-crow saloon
an implement for bending iron bars or rails
a crowbar fitted with a claw
jim-crowism, noun
C19: from Jim Crow, name of song used as the basis of an act by Thomas Rice (1808–60), American entertainer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for Jim Crow

Jim Crow

A descriptive term for the segregation of institutions, businesses, hotels, restaurants, and the like. It also refers to the laws that required racial segregation.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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