When did southern segregation begin? People often assume that segregation was a natural outcome of Reconstruction. In fact, scholars cannot agree on which events at the end of the nineteenth century mark the beginning of formalized Jim Crow. The 6 selections in this volume address the question of segregation’s origins and, amid the debate over when segregation began, also engage the issues of where, why, and how it became the norm for relations between black and white southerners. Concentrating on various issues—segregation’s antebellum antecedents, degrees of fluidity of racial interaction following emancipation, the complex relationship between race, gender, and class, and the diversity of segregation practices among the states—the selections illustrate the evolution of southern segregation from a diverse array of local practices to an inflexible American Apartheid.