Edward Williams Clay (1799-1857) lithograph, cover to sheet music of “Jump Jim Crow,” a song popularized by American minstrel Thomas Dartmouth Rice about 1832.

The Legend of Jim Crow

“Jim Crow” is clothed in ambiguity and irony. I first came across the term in a University of Virginia class. On the syllabus was C. Vann Woodward’s The Strange Career of Jim Crow, a series of lectures at the University published in 1955. It’s likely there was a real, historical Jim Crow, an African American, […]