The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Noose (Symbol)

The noose is a symbol of racist violence directed towards African Americans. It functioned as a tool of violence in a literal sense during the Jim Crow era and is now utilized as a symbol of hate, implicit violence, and exclusion.

The Box (Symbol)

The box an ex-offender has to check on his or her job application form is much more than it may seem. It is a symbol of stigma, persecution, and the imminent and unavoidable difficulties in getting one's life back on track.

Rosa Parks (Symbol)

Rosa Parks was turned into a symbol by the Civil Rights community - she is the educated, moral, refined, and motherly black person unfairly marginalized by segregation laws. She is a "poster child" and far more preferable than the two other women who defied such laws but whose backgrounds were deemed too problematic.

Closures, Mazes, and More (Motif)

There is a pervasive motif of doors to close, minefields to navigate, mazes to wander, and off-limit avenues that present themselves to both people trying to sue based on racial discrimination and bias and ex-offenders trying to make a life for themselves out of prison.

Denial (Motif)

Denial pervades the rhetoric, discussions, and laws of politicians and officials who claim to implement colorblind policies but in reality ignore (in varying degrees of intentionality) the racial ramifications of such policies.