The North’s Jim Crow

Andrew W. Kahrl, an associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Virginia, provides examples of preventing beach access to brown and black people to illustrate how town’s in the North use “quality of life” laws to enforce segregation.  “Quality of life” laws serve as a potent instrument of racial segregation. They provide commercial establishments, law enforcement officers and everyday citizens with tools enabling them to police racial boundaries while at the same time claiming to simply be upholding the law.  In contrast to the Jim Crow laws of America’s dark past, these laws supposedly apply to everyone. But in practice, they clearly don’t.”  To read the complete essay, click here.

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