The Jim Crow Laws: Legalizing Discrimination

Topics: African American, Jim Crow laws, Discrimination Pages: 4 (1204 words) Published: December 5, 2012
The New Jim Crow
“Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans” states Michelle Alexander, (the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010) ), in an interview with a nonprofit, independent publisher of educational materials known as Rethinking Schools. A perfect example of Michelle Alexander’s statement is Sonya Jennings who is an African American mother, as well as a convicted drug felon. She was sentenced to eight years probation after being arrested for possession of drugs, and since she is now labeled as a felon, illegal discrimination such as, denial of the right to vote, denial of public assistance, and employment discrimination have now become legal (Alexander). The Jim Crow system has been redesigned in America today, legalizing discrimination against people with criminal backgrounds (Alexander).

Jim Crow was the practice of discriminating against African Americans, after slavery was in abolished between the 1870’s to the mid 1960’s in the Southern States. This system was the belief that whites were superior to blacks so keeping public places segregated and placing restrictions upon blacks was legal to do. Denial of the right to vote was one form of discrimination that African Americans faced. “As a native-born or naturalized American citizen, you may think you are free to vote. Not so, however, if you are a Negro American and live in the South.” This was written by author Stetson Kennedy in his book called Jim Crow Guide: The Way It Was (147). Many African Americans that lived in the South were unable to vote, and even if they tried to, they had to pass literacy tests or even pay poll taxes. Also, places of employment were segregated as well; “White southerners refused to work under black supervisors and most white craftsmen strenuously opposed the hiring of African Americans in the skill trades”...

Cited: Alexander, Michelle. “Schools and the New Jim Crow, an Interview with Michelle Alexander.” Rethinking, Rethinking Schools. 23 Jan. 2012.Web. 17 Oct. 2012
Glaze, Lauren E and Maruschak, Laura M. “Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children.”, Bureau of Justice Statistics. 8 Aug. 2008: 1. PDF File.
Kennedy, Stetson. Jim Crow Guide : The Way It Was. Boca Raton: Florida Atlantic University Press, 1990. Print.
Karjick, Kevin. “Why Can’t Ex-Felons Vote?” Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2004: A19. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Remembering Jim Crow : African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South. New York: New Press, 2001. Print.
“Return of Debtors’ Prisons.” New York Times, 14 Jul 2012. A16. Print.
“Stresses of poverty may impair learning ability in young children.” National Institutes of Health. NIH News, 28 Aug. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
Tahmincioglu, Eve. “Unable to get Jobs, Freed Inmates Return to Jail.” NBC News, 17 Feb. 2010. 1. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
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