The Jim Crow Battle Against Black History
The current battle to remove books and any discussion about slavery and the treatment of Blacks is not new. This is what we call “Jim Crow”, now presenting himself as “James Q. Esquire”, the legislator. For those who might have forgotten, Jim Crow was often the name used to describe segregation; laws, customs, and rules that arose in the South after Reconstruction ended in 1877. “Reconstruction” is what efforts to rebuild the South were called after the Civil War. It was an effort to put the South back together, economically, without the benefit of slavery, which had been its most precious product.
Newly freed slaves were finding ways to buy land, start farms, run for office as was the case. During Reconstruction 16 African Americans served in the U.S. Congress, more than 600 were elected to the state legislatures, and hundreds more held local offices across the South. White Southerners were not pleased with either the independence of Blacks nor their efforts to own land, get educated and achieve, at the very least, equal status with Whites.
While we celebrate Black History month, and hopefully the resurgence of a study and appreciation for Black History, it’s important that we use our knowledge of past efforts to suppress or erase us to fuel our present desire to do more and go further, collectively, than those who came before us. Whatever title the racist put on “Voter Suppression”, and the battle against “Critical Race Theory” - which most can’t spell or define - we must recognize all efforts to curtail our freedom or to create a new legal “White Zone”, as the Mississippi legislature is attempting to do, all amount to “Jim Crow” efforts under new names and titles.
The good news is that we overcame past efforts at segregation and Jim Crow laws. With the knowledge, education and skills we now have at our disposal, we, the Black People of this country, born with rights of equality guaranteed under the Constitution, will neither abandon those rights nor have them taken from us. If we look at Black History everyday, we will recognize the revised efforts to suppress or eliminate us and we will prevail.