After the Civil War, the United States began to unite again with the southern states that had seceded and then been defeated. During this period, called Reconstruction, African Americans, though no longer slaves, still were faced with discrimination, scorn, and ridicule. The prejudices towards blacks throughout the north and south, forced them into a period of suffering and misery just as bad as slavery. The former Confederate States passed the Black Codes in 1865. These laws were designed to control and suppress the freedom of blacks. African Americans now had a curfew, needed a permit to travel, and could not start their own business. However, under these regulations African Americans obtained the right to marry (though interracial marriages were illegal and subject to criminal penalties), they could now sue in court, and go to school.
There were restrictions in ownership of land, freedom of speech, and in employment. Blacks stayed on the farms, but this time with minimal wages. Since most of the war had been fought in the south, all the cotton fields had been destroyed and they needed to be plowed and restored. They were committed to work for their same employer for one year. If any African American was caught breaking their labor contracts they would be fined and then hired to pay out that fine. The blacks were now free but former owners still found a way to corner them into a situation a lot like slavery.
Whites wanted nothing to do with blacks. Although they were free, black people weren't looked upon as equal, but inferior to whites. In the 1880s, a series of regulations were set up to legally separate the races. These rules were called Jim Crow Laws. The term "Jim Crow" comes from a minstrel routine, "Jump Jim Crow," performed by Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice before the Civil War. Rice had painted his face and dressed as a beggar as he danced and sang, mocking a routine he had seen performed by an old crippled stableman belonging to a Mr.