- from Jackie Robinson
By 1865, African Americans were no longer enslaved persons.
However, they still found themselves barred from participating in many elements of American society.
In the late 1800s, many southern states passed laws that enforced separation of the races. African Americans had to go to separate schools, restaurants, and hotels. They also had to use separate water fountains and railway cars, and sit at the back of buses.
In the North, informal discrimination kept African Americans living in separate neighborhoods, which meant they went to separate schools. Even jobs were segregated. Most African Americans couldn’t get anything but the lowest-paying jobs, and they had little chance of advancement. Baseball reflected the general segregation of U.S. society into white and black.