Memphis – National Civil Rights Museum (Jim Crow Today)

The museum used many different types of exhibits to explain the history of civil rights and this graphic was presented early on in the exhibition route. It is a map of where in four major cities the African American, White, Asian and Latino populations currently live. So, although the Jim Crow laws of segregation no longer exist, it’s clear that the reality on the ground is that they still have a legacy effect today.

It’s easier to see the New York map in the photo that I took, although the results are similar for the other cities which is clear segregation of blacks and whites. Latino and Asian communities tend to merge between the two, but are still often in their own defined areas of cities. In the home city of the museum, Memphis, the top right image of the four shows that there are very few areas where both communities are living in equal numbers. Much of this relates to white flight when white residents left the inner cities and moved to the suburbs, although that situation is reversing a little more now as city centres become more attractive again.

The museum didn’t overplay this graphic, but it was a reminder for visitors arriving at the museum as to how division in the United States continues today.