Jim Crow’s reach extended to courtroom Bibles

” ‘Confusion with Jim Crow Bible’ [a story in the Raleigh Evening Times] March 29, 1906, describes an incident during the trial of a black schoolteacher accused of disposing of a mule on which there was a mortgage. A defense witness, who was colored but looked white, took the stand and was being sworn in when the judge told the sheriff the man had been given the wrong Bible.

” ‘That one… is for the use of the white people,’ Judge Amistead [Armistead?] Jones said. ‘Not that I am a stickler about such matters, but if there are to be different Bibles kept for the races, then you must not get them mixed that way. Have a different place for them, and keep them there. Then such mistakes as this will not be made.’ ”

— From “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson (2010)