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Transcript of Black Codes
the real freedoms of the freed African Americans. After the war, slavery was technically illegal. But
most southern whites did not really accept emancipation and would not permit the former slaves to live on
an equal basis with themselves. The South developed new laws to recreate the old "slave codes," laws that
pretended to protect blacks but in fact restricted their activities. These new “black codes" were almost
identical to the slave codes; in some cases the word "slave" was replaced with the word "black."
The slave codes had, among other restrictions, prohibited blacks from owning property and moving
freely. The black codes were meant to serve a virtually identical purpose. In October 1865 Mississippi
and South Carolina enacted the first and most severe black codes: 1. All black people were required to have jobs. Any black people who were unemployed could be
arrested for vagrancy and sentenced to prison. The state of Mississippi laws allowed sheriffs to arrest any
black person who quit his or her job to be forcibly returned to that boss. In addition, some codes forbid
freed persons from having any jobs except their slave jobs: farm worker or servant. The rights that African Amercans gained during reconstruction were lost once again through the black codes 2. It was nearly impossible for blacks to rent or buy property. The Codes dictated where a black person
3. Blacks were subject to strict curfews which controlled how all their time was spent.
4. A black person’s right to possess a firearm was banned.
5. Black people were now allowed to marry without a marriage license which needed to be purchased
from white officials, and they usually needed to own property to obtain a license.
6. Black children could be kept for unpaid "apprentice" labor. If black parents were decided to be “unfit”
for any reason, their children were bound over to white farmers--frequently their former owners--until the
children reached the age of 21. US BACK THEN US TODAY!!