"JIM CROW (Formal Wear) "
acrylic and mixed media on birch panel
36 " x 72"

The very name 'Jim Crow' encompasses everything lethal about post civil war America. From the 1870's - 1950's, Jim Crow laws instituted segregation of public schools, public places and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms and restaurants for whites and blacks. The U.S. military was also segregated. They were separate from the 1800-66 Black Codes, which had also restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans. It wasn't until 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education, that the Supreme Court of the United States declared segregation unconstitutional. Remaining Jim Crow laws were finally overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964[1] and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The idea for this image was hatched after being exposed to the latest celebrity rage - clothing lines. It seems that every television or film 'star', along with rappers all have clothing lines or perfumes. The race to remain relevant and capitalize to the fullest on one's fleeting fame drives the madness. The success or failure of these ventures is obviously dependant on reaching an audience. Unfortunately, they all seem to be reaching for the same slice of pie. The absurdity made me wonder when someone would have the courage to market to a true niche audience. Everyone else has a clothing line, why not racists? Don't they deserve to have their interests represented as much as the next consumer? After all, this is America and the dollar reins supreme.

This is the first in a series. Others will include Jim Crow Sportswear and Casuals.