Jim Crow Laws. "Jim Crow" was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow represented the legitimization of anti-Black racism. Blacks had little legal recourse against these laws as the criminal justice system was all-White. Violence was instrumental for Jim Crow as a method of social control.