What if Jim Crow Never Ended?

Clare Xanthos, PhD
4 min readFeb 16, 2023

Some Black History Month Observations

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Martin Luther King would have been truly disappointed that nearly 60 years since the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Black Americans continue to be relegated to the status of third-class citizens, marked out for unequal treatment, harassment, and worse. What’s more, this awful situation extends to many other countries; in 2023, we’re living in the midst of a pervasive global anti-Blackness.

60 years on, still no meaningful freedom

Photo by Charles Fair on Unsplash

Although America prides itself on its commitment to “freedom,” those who haven’t been living under a rock over the last few years, know perfectly well that there is no meaningful freedom for people of African descent in the US. The latest police brutality videos that are shared on social media every day demonstrate the grim reality that basic civil rights to life and liberty continue to be violated in mind-boggling numbers.

Indeed, it could be argued that the business-as-usual murders of Black people in the 2020s are not so different from the public lynchings during Jim Crow. The only difference is that while the Jim Crow lynchings were openly racist, modern day lynchings are made to look as if they are race-neutral because the N-word typically isn’t used. For all we know, the number of racially-motivated homicides of Black people today could be higher than it was under Jim Crow.

Furthermore, Black people continue to suffer injustice in every area of society, whether it’s working while Black; learning while Black; banking while Black; driving while Black; traveling while Black; shopping while Black; accessing healthcare while Black; and yes, even breathing while Black. While Jim Crow may have ended officially in 1964, it seems that the spirit of Jim Crow continues to haunt America; it has simply morphed into an insidious, colorblind, equally toxic form of oppression.

The “Jim Crow Mindset” is still a thing

In 1967, MLK eloquently stated that “the time is always right to do what is right,” however, this message continues to be ignored…

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Clare Xanthos, PhD

WRITER. AUTHOR. SCHOLAR. Interests: Racial Equity, Racial Health Equity, Racial Justice. Co-Editor: Social Determinants of Health among African-American Men