Georgia Is Ground Zero for the GOP’s Jim Crow Renaissance

Black voters took control of the state in the recent Senate elections. Now the backlash has arrived.

David Dennis, Jr.
Published in
4 min readMar 1, 2021


The Georgia State Capitol building. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article called “Trump’s War on Black Voters Is Far From Over.” Donald Trump had just lost the presidential election largely due to Black folks organizing in Georgia, and we were weeks away from Democrats regaining Senate control, thanks again to those same Black voters organizing to get Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff elected. In that article, I said that “anytime Black people utilize their voices to make seismic electoral shifts, a backlash ensues, whether that’s through changing laws or extrajudicial violence.” The Georgia GOP and the people who follow them have proven that to be true, rushing to bring Jim Crow back as fast and ruthlessly as possible.

At the very top are the Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly, who are trying to push through the most restrictive voter suppression laws in the country. House Bill 531 and Senate Bill 241, both introduced in the past two weeks, would:

  • Restrict the Sundays where people could participate in early voting — a direct attack on Black churches that hold “souls to the polls” events.
  • Limit the amount of time people have to request absentee ballots.
  • Ban counties from accepting private funds to help with elections.
  • More strictly enforce a law that volunteers can’t provide food and water to people standing in line.
  • Limit the availability of ballot drop boxes.
  • Ban no-excuse absentee voting.
  • Require absentee voters to get their ballot envelope signed by a witness and enclose a copy of their photo ID with the ballot.

That’s not even all of it. Here’s how I voted in the 2020 elections: I got an absentee ballot mailed to me. I filled it out and left it at a dropbox on my way to Target weeks before Election Day. Georgia Republicans want to make this impossible.

Georgia had the most scrutinized election results this country has seen since Florida in 2000. And unlike Florida, Georgia’s votes held up against numerous recounts and audits and…



David Dennis, Jr.

Level Sr. Writer covering Race, Culture, Politics, TV, Music. Previously: The Undefeated, The Atlantic, Washington Post. Forthcoming book: The Movement Made Us