Mansfield images, before 1956
This photo - taken the month of the Mansfield desegregation crisis in 1956 - depicts a microcosm of Jim Crow-era segregation. In addition to separate water fountains, blacks and whites were separated in bus seating, theater seating, restaurants, health care, housing and in other everyday activities across the South.
Jim Crow laws marginalized African Americans by denying them access to private businesses and public facilities, creating "separate but equal" conditions. For example, many black Americans were forced to eat in the back of some establishments or not allowed in at all.