Black History

#BlackHistoryFacts for December 24: The Edgefield Exodus, Jim Crow era begins

In 1881, the Edgefield Exodus occurred. Around 5,000 black Americans began leaving Edgefield County, South Carolina and resettled in the state of Arkansas. The cause for black migrants leaving Edgefield County was due to white violence and economic exploitation. The movement was encouraged by Pap Singleton who felt that black people would enjoy an improved life in the MidWest. It was also believed that white people also encouraged the exodus to reduce South Carolina’s black population, which dominated the state in the 1870s.


Also in 1881, the era of Jim Crow began. White people began to reassert their authority and a new law began to take place that gave way to segregation laws. Tennessee led the way and other southern states followed, passing laws to keep black people and white people separate. The story of Jim Crow is believed to have started from a famed minstrel show performer named Thomas “Daddy” Rice who took the phrase from a slave who literally did a song and a dance using “Jim Crow” as a means to criticize the slave master. The Jom Crow laws of the 1880s were strict and remained in force until its successful end during the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. in the 1960s

Sources: This Week in Black History

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