The New Jim Code and Decoding Bias

This guide is inspired by the book "Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code" by Ruha Benjamin.

Interested in Research

Visit the links below to learn more about the Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship and how to apply.


Jim Crow thought to be legislation and social-cultural codes from the past are now reincarnated, manifested, and incorporated into algorithmic and artificial intelligence codes. Dr. Ruha Benjamin, sociologist and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University is the author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, where in the book she coins the term “New Jim Code”. The term articulates the phenomenon of Jim Crow-like segregation that is implemented in modern-day algorithms and AI tools. This LibGuide was created in hopes to inspire Ohio State University students to better understand the issue and implications of algorithmic oppression. Through better understanding, we can decode our bias, and enter desired professional fields with the intended purpose of critiquing algorithmic oppression and ultimately finding the solution. This research guide is intended to inspire and encourage the creation of digital and algorithmic systems that take an emancipatory approach to technology development in order to dismantle this new form of oppression.

To learn more about the “New Jim Code” be sure to read Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. Click on the image above to find the book in The Ohio State University Libraries! 

“The New Jim Code and Decoding Bias” research guide was developed by a recipient of the Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship, with the mentorship of Librarian Sherab Chen

Land Acknowledgement

The goal of this guide is to inspire and encourage heightened self-awareness of others as well as historic harmful oppressive systems. For this reason, the Ohio State University Land Acknowledgment is included below. For more information about the Ohio State University's Land Acknowledgment, visit the Center for Belonging and Social Change website.

"We would like to acknowledge the land that The Ohio State University occupies is the ancestral and contemporary territory of the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Delaware, Miami, Peoria, Seneca, Wyandotte, Ojibwe and Cherokee peoples. Specifically, the university resides on land ceded in the 1795 Treaty of Greeneville and the forced removal of tribes through the Indian Removal Act of 1830. As a land grant institution, we want to honor the resiliency of these tribal nations and recognize the historical contexts that has and continues to affect the Indigenous peoples of this land."

What more to do beyond a Land Acknowledgement

Visit Beyond Land Acknowledgement to learn what organizations and institutions can do beyond providing a land acknowledgment. In addition to analyzing the harms of the "New Jim Code", it is necessary to consider the negative effects of non-Indigenous-centered technologies on native communities. Read AI: A New (R)Evolution or the New Colonizer for Indigenous Peoples? by Dr. Hēmi Whaanga to learn more about decolonizing AI systems and ways to dismantle the "New Jim Code".