"The man in the church said they're different from us and needs ought to keep their own. Jimmy Crow says that, and he makes the laws."

Jim Crow era sign
Public DomainJim Crow era sign - Credit: Library of Congress
Ruth May is referring to Jim Crow Laws, which enshrined racial discrimination in the South during this period.  These nineteenth century laws governed every aspect of African American existence (separate water fountains, schools, bathrooms etc). They weren't abolished until the mid-1960s.