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.

Jim Crow

In the book Race After Technology, Benjamin describes Jim Crow as 

"The era commonly called Jim Crow is best known for the system of laws that mandated racial segregation and upheld white supremacy in the United States between 1876 and 1965. Legal codes, social codes, and building codes intersected to keep people separate and unequal." (Benjamin 2019) 

To learn more about the Jim Crow era policies, view the resources below. 


Anti-racism is an important concept to holistically understand the argument of the ''New Jim Code". Below are resources that explain the concept of anti-racism and the best ways to uphold as well as practice it, in the larger pursuit to become anti-racist. 


Intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, is a concept that is frequently referenced throughout the book Race After Technology. Below is a famous TedTalk video from Kimberlé Crenshaw as well as a more recent interview that she completed with Time magazine. Both resources explain intersectionality as a concept and how it relates to the process of dismantling harmful systems of oppression. 

Trigger Warning: police violence, graphic police footage (begins at 16:18)

Futurism and Black Feminist Thought

Race After Technology uses some of the resources below to challenge the design process of AI technology. Black feminist theories from Patricia Hill Collins, as well as other feminists, Afrofuturism, and Chicanafuturism, are concepts that Benjamin argues will assist in the reimagination of technology and the design process for AI systems. Through the process of reimagining, technology systems can better support minoritized and marginalized groups. These two perspectives will assist in the deconstruction of hegemonic practices and points of view when it comes to technological designs.

About Page

The resources on this page include an explanation of anti-racism, the concept of intersectionality, Black feminist thought, Afrofuturism, and Chicanafuturism, which are all concepts referenced throughout Race After Technology. Having a base understanding of diversity and equity is necessary to fully understand the argument of the “New Jim Code” and how historical Jim Crow policies have become intertwined into algorithmic systems. This section is intended to support further discovery of personal bias to decode and deprogram the biases of technological AI systems.