I apologize for the misleading title; anybody who’s paying attention knows that Jim Crow hasn’t gone anywhere. If your history class didn’t adequately explain what Jim Crow was, or if you were sleeping, Jim Crow was a series of laws designed to enforce segregation in public places and duplicate enslavement as much as possible under the law. If you were unemployed, you could be sent back to the same plantation where you were once enslaved. Violate curfew, be broke, sass a white man, look at a white woman, be Black; all of the above was sufficient to end one’s freedom. Lastly, the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 said that Black people had no Constitutional rights and that was Jim Crow, the law of the land which lasted until 1965.

It keeps recreating itself under different titles and new management. Long before Jim Crow, there was the enslavement of Black people, then came the Black Codes right after the Civil War, which duplicated enslavement as much as the law allowed. There was the ever-so-brief Reconstruction period, which was only viable due to the presence of federal troops to protect those who’d been enslaved. After twelve short years, Democrats and Republicans conspired to end Reconstruction and ushered in Jim Crow, which has lasted ever since—despite what the history books say.