The New Jim Crow Chapter 1 Analysis

509 Words3 Pages

On page thirty-two of The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander explicitly states that we transitioned from the death of the "Old Jim Crow" to the birth of "The New One" through: "a criminal justice system that was strategically employed to force African Americans back into a system of extreme repression and control" (32). After the death of slavery / during the Reconstruction Era, African Americans obtained political power and began the long march toward greater social and economic equality. As a result, whites reacted with panic / outrage and conservatives vowed to reverse Reconstruction / "redeem" the South. Through the Ku Klux Klan, resurgent white supremacists fought a terrorist campaign against Reconstruction governments and local leaders. Consequently, the federal government withdrew their troops from the South and effectively abandoned African Americans / "all those who fought for or supported an egalitarian racial order" (31). When the federal government no longer made any effort to enforce federal civil rights legislation and slashed the funding for the Freedmen's Bureau (to such a degree that the agency became virtually defunct), vagrancy laws and other laws defining activities such as "mischief" and "insulting gestures" as crimes were enforced vigorously against blacks. The …show more content…

The potency of the alliance / the Populist party (in general) alarmed the conservatives and led them to "resort to the tactics they had employed in their quest for Redemption" (34). As a result, segregation laws ("The Old Jim Crow") were proposed as part of a deliberate effort to drive a wedge between poor whites and African Americans (just as they were through the institution of black slavery following Bacon's

Open Document