Prior to the Civil War, in the early part of the 19th century, a white performer created the dancing and singing simpleton character "Jim Crow." The character mocked black people while entertaining white audiences by playing on white bigotry and racism. Following the Civil War and Reconstruction, after four million blacks became free, a racial apartheid occurred in the United States. The name "Jim Crow" became synonymous with this period in American history.
Learn more about The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.