Africana Studies
Department Chair:
Pam Brooks

Administrative Assistant:
David Divins

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8923
Fax: (440) 775-6485

Rice Hall 29
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Student Projects

Student Projects

The New Jim Crow Timeline

Joe Greenberg ’17

Have you ever tried to explain to someone what systemic racism is? Given how complex the numerous American institutions are — comprising of the legal, political, educational, prison, and housing – describing how these structures have been built to work against people of color is better illustrated in the product — such as rampant segregation in cities across the country, the exclusion of people of color from juries, or the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans. But, if the effects are blatant, why are the inner-workings of systemic racism so hard to explain? An understanding of how racism permeates our institutions takes a vast knowledge of American history, accompanied by critical legal and critical race theory.

Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, became an instant classic due to its comprehensive, yet concise catalogue of discrimination through the legal system — amounting to the present terror of mass incarceration. Through my reflections of her book, I developed the idea for this project. My creation became an online timeline that lays out all of the court cases in The New Jim Crow, along with the issues they involve (by category), their dates, and their connections to other cases found in Alexander’s book. This media format provides a simpler method of navigating over two hundred years of political and legal history; users can seamlessly view how American systems have produced racial inequality across our history, materializing in a modern day system akin to Jim Crow — with mass incarceration at its epicenter.

View Timeline

(Online timeline created by Nick Stares ’19)