Posted by: NC | February 18, 2007

Jim Crow laws vs. apartheid

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

How was Jim Crow segregation different from South African apartheid?

As political and legal systems, how did the two differ?

Jim Crow laws were state and local. Apartheid was national.

Jim Crow laws divided the population into two racial groups, Whites and Blacks. Apartheid classified people as White, Black, Indian (as in India; South Africa, being a former British colony, has a sizable Indian community) and Coloured (the latter referring mostly to people born into mixed-race families).

Apartheid also created a system of nominally independent “homelands” for Blacks (which makes it more similar to the Indian reservation system in the U.S. than to Jim Crow laws), so Blacks could only vote in their “homeland”, which they may not even live in at the moment or have never visited in their life.

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