Jim Crow laws were laws that were designed to enforce racial segregation in the South. They began in the time just after Reconstruction and continued to exist until the Civil Rights Era.
Jim Crow laws were created because white Southerners wanted to make sure that African Americans stayed “in their place.” Southerner whites lived near African Americans much more than Northern whites did and they wanted to be sure that it was clear that the blacks were subordinate to the whites. To emphasize their superiority, they created the Jim Crow laws.
The abolition of Jim Crow laws started after World War II. There were court cases that gradually eroded Jim Crow laws in the area of higher education. These cases culminated with the famous Brown v. Board of Education case that outlawed segregation in public schools in 1954. Segregation of other sorts did not become illegal until Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in various types of public facilities. This was the end of the Jim Crow era.