What was the fine for violating the last of the Jim Crow laws just before they were abolished 1965?

Like say a black guy using a white restroom.

Also, could white people use “black” restrooms and such with impunity?


Here is some info about fines and jail sentences.


I’ve wondered about the issue of whites using black facilities in the Jim Crow era, if anyone frowned upon it or made it illegal.


I do seem to recall reading that white people attempting to use black facilities faced charges. It wasn’t for the protection of black folk from white-people cooties or anything, but rather the outrage of people who considered it a horrible precedent to set and something that disturbed them deeply just to contemplate.

I was going to make a comment but deleted it in my other post about how the attitudes towards sex seemed like they could possibly be used to extrapolate how attitudes worked. White men having sex with black women was not really frowned upon from what I could tell (as long as it wasn’t done in the open), but black men having sex with white women was very aggressively punished.

Which makes me wonder how much of a fear of ‘cross contamination’ there really was if the culture looked the other way on white men having sex with black women. Who knows.

Burial: The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons. Georgia

All these things seem a lot of work.

Yes. In the city of Savannah’s street cars, for example, either a black or white person “willfully occupying as a passenger” a seat in a section designated for the other color was subject to arrest for disorderly conduct, and a $100 fine or 30 days in jail. These sections were adjustable, depending on the makeup of the combined passenger contingent of the moment, and indicated by signs which could be moved back and forth between rows (white people always in front of the sign, black in back). It was possible for someone to sit in a correctly-indicated spot and then, a few stops later, find that they had to get up and move, because the signs were being moved to accommodate new boarders of the other color.

At Rickwood Field in Birmingham, I’m told, the section all the way down the line on the first base side was reserved for black baseball fans, when the Barons of the all-white Southern Association were playing a home game, the rest of the facility being reserved for white folks. When that team was on the road, the ballpark was given over to the Negro National League Black Barons, and the assignments were reversed.

I don’t know what it says about segregation, that there were both white and black fans, willing to put up with this, for both black and white segregated teams.

My mother, who was from Idaho, once went with her parents on a trip to Georgia back in the 40’s. She saw some drinking fountains, one said “white” and the other “colored”. My mother was curious and since their was a line to use the “white” one she went and drank from the “colored” fountain. she was dissapointed in that it was ordinary water.

She got some odd looks but not in trouble.

In the movie" The Buddy Holly Story" in the comments section actor Gary Senessee who played Buddy discussed one scene where Buddy’s group and a black music group were touring together and he discussed the problem that while blacks werent allowed in white hotels, whites were also not allowed in black hotels and he said often the band would stay together at the same hotel and would have to come up with tricks to get the others in.

Gary Senessee being Gary Sinise’s stunt double. :wink:

Loving v. Virginia was about a mixed couple getting married in Washington, DC and coming back to live in Virginia. They eventually made a Federal case out of it. Anyway, are there any incidents of mixed couples just passing through getting into notable amounts of trouble? I think hotels used to ask whether husbands and wives were married (presumably to each other, but one never knows… ), but if there were white hotels and colored hotels then it’s possible the question never came up. (They were Sundown States, apparently.)

Gary Sineese was Gary Biusee’s understudy.

Rosa Parks, IIRC, was arrested for failing to yield her seat.

Jim Crow laws were drafted with clinical, separate-but-equal language which did not distinguish in penalties between black and white. The Fourteenth Amendment had been part of the United States Constitution sine 1868, and any attempt to write obvious sentencing disparities into state or local law would have been struck down by federal courts, even before the Civil Rights era.

For example, you can read the Alabama bus laws, under which Rosa Parks was arrested, in the court report of Browder v. Gayle. Any person refusing to sit in their appropriate section is subject to a fine of $500. (Which of course was a lot of money in 1955.) (No imprisonment however.)

In the real world, of course, enforcement was discriminatory. The white seats and fountains and washrooms were inevitably better, and if the white seats filled, the white section could be expanded. That’s what happened to Rosa Parks; she sat in the front of the “colored” section, then was asked to move further back when the white section filled. So in practice the chance of a white person being arrested for violating these laws was low indeed.