The term "Jim Crow" is believed to have been derived from a song called "Jump Jim Crow", which was performed by a white minstrel, Thomas "Daddy" Rice, in 1838. Upon performing, Thomas Rice blackened his face with charcoal paste or burned cork. He danced a ridiculous jig while singing the song. He created the character "Jim Crow" when traveling in the South and seeing a crippled elderly black man or some say a young boy dancing and singing a song. However, even before Rice performed the song, "crow" had been a derogatory name for a black person.
Most southern white Americans, those who grew up before 1954, expected black Americans to conduct themselves accordingly. They expected them to act in the well-understood rituals of behavior. So, racial etiquettes that would govern the actions, manners, attitudes and words of all black Americans when in the presence of white Americans were made. Violation of the racial etiquettes would risk or endanger one 's life and the lives of one 's family. Some of the inclusive and prevalent etiquette norms prescribed for the people during the time are listed below:
• Blacks and whites could meet and talk in public, but the blacks were to be agreeable and non-challenging, even if the white person was mistaken about something.
• It was expected for blacks to step off the sidewalk when meeting whites or walk on the outer street side of the walk and remove their caps and hats when interacting with a white person.