Even after the outlawing of slavery, the Jim Crow Era perpetuated racism and discrimination. Occurring in the Southern states of the United States from the end of the Reconstruction Era in 1877 to the 1950s, whites and blacks were required to remain separate while utilizing public transportation, parks, theatres, restaurants and the like. It was meant to further fuel the ruling of “separate but equal” as was the conclusion in the famous court case, Plessy V. Ferguson (1896).
Cleverly or deceitfully, depending on one’s perspective, some black men found a tactic to evade the effects of the Jim Crow laws on blacks.
Chandra Gooneratne, a native Sri-Lankan who wore a turban to combat discrimination in the U.S. commented, “Any Asiatic…can evade the whole issue of color in America by winding a few yards of linen around his head. A turban makes anyone an Indian.”
Keep reading to learn about some of the turban-wearing black people who used the Indian symbol to escape segregation: