Jim Crow Law Essay

Discrimination and prejudice were very common acts during the time that To Kill A Mockingbird took place. Prejudice in this book is displayed by the acts of hate and misunderstanding because of someone’s color. For example when Tom Robinson was on trial for rape that everyone knew he didn’t commit, but because of the color they still want to put him in jail. During this time in the southern states, black people had to use separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, sections in restaurants, churches, sit in separate places, and even go to separate schools. An example in this book that shows that they sat in different places was in the court room the colored sections had to sit up in the balconies. Even though a lot of the discrimination was towards blacks, there was also discrimination towards families that did not have money, such as the Ewell family.

One of the Jim Crow laws stated that a black male could not shake hands with a white male because that would show that the two races are socially equal. Also if a black male offered a hand or any other part of his body to a white woman, he would be accused of rape. This law is similar to Tom Robinson’s rape case. Tom Robinson is being accused of rape because when he was called in the Ewells’ house by Mayella to break a bureau for her, but as he was doing that she grabbed his leg, wrapped her arm around his waist, and then kissed him. As the only witness was Mayella’s father Bob Tom Robinson had no chance of winning because even though the jury knew he was innocent in their heart they would have to show him guilty because they had to give the public what they wanted.

Another Jim Crow law states that black people cannot sit near each other, because it would show that they are socially equal, which is not true. One place that this law comes up is when the colored people had to sit in the balcony during when the trail was going on. Blacks and Whites were always separated everywhere. For example, on the bus blacks at in the back and whites in the front and when a black person is riding in a car with a white person, the colored person has to sit in the back of the car to show that they are not socially equal.

The Jim Crow laws did not only apply to black people but to any family that was very poor, such as the Ewell family. When the Ewell family was first introduces in the book, everyone was judging them because their mother died, the father was a drunk, the family was full of young children, they were dirty and poor, and their social statues was like a hair above all colored people.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, we see a black man put on trial for a crime he clearly did not commit. The jury was so afraid of what everyone else would have thought if they made Tom Robinson innocent so, they chose the verdict that the public wanted, even though that was not what they felt in their hearts.