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Example Segregation Laws

Birmingham Public Accomodation Segregation Laws
Montgomery Bus Segregation Laws

Throughout the South, states, counties, and municipalities had a bewildering array of inconsistent segregation laws mandating the separation of the races. Tens of thousands of men, women, girls, and boys — most of them Black, some white — were arrested during the Freedom Movement for violating these dehumanizing laws. The few examples below are typical of the southern segregation laws that were eventually over-turned by Federal court rulings the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Birmingham Public Accomodation Segregation Laws

SECTION 359. SEPARATION OF RACES
It shall be unlawful for any person in charge or control of any room, hall, theater, picture house, auditorium, yard, court, ballpark, public park, or other indoor or outdoor place, to which both white persons and Negroes are admitted, to cause, permit or allow herein or thereon any theatrical performance, picture exhibition, speech or educational or entertainment program of any kind whatsoever, unless such room, hall, theater, picture house, auditorium, yard, court, ball park, or other place, has entrances, exits, and seating or standing sections set aside for and assigned to the use of Negroes, unless the entrances, exits and seating or standing sections set aside for and assigned to the use of white persons are distinctly separated from those set aside for and assigned to the use of Negroes, by well defined physical barriers, and unless the members of each race are affectively restricted and confined to the sections set aside for and assigned to the use of such race.

SECTION 369. SEPARATION OF RACES
It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place of the serving of food in the city at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectually separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment.

SECTION 597. NEGROES AND WHITE PERSONS NOT TO PLAY TOGETHER.
It shall be unlawful for a Negro and a white person to play together or in company with each other in any game of cards, dice, dominoes or checkers. Any person, who being the owner, proprietor or keeper or superintendent, of any tavern, inn, restaurant, or other public house or public place, or the clerk, servant or employee or such owner, proprietor, keeper or superintendent, knowingly permits a Negro and a white person to play together or in company with each other at any game with cards, dice, dominoes or checkers in his house or on his premises shall, on conviction, be punished as provided in Section 4.

Montgomery Bus Segregation Laws

SECTION 10. SEPARATION OF RACES—REQUIRED
Every person operating a bus line in the city shall provide equal but separate accommodations for white people and negroes on his buses, by requiring the employees in charge thereof to assign passengers seats on the vehicles under their charge in such manner as to separate the white people from the negroes, where there are both white an negroes on the same car; provided, however, that negro nurses having in charge white children or sick or infirm white persons, may be assigned seats among white people. (Code 1938 : 603.)

SECTION 11. POWERS OF PERSONS IN CHARGE OF VEHICLE.
Any employee in charge of a bus operated in the city shall have the powers of a police office of the city while in actual charge of any bus, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the preceding section, and it shall be unlawful for any passenger to refuse or fail to take a seat among those assigned to the race to which he belongs, at the request of any such employee in charge, if there is a seat vacant. (Code 1938 : 604.)


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