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Essay on black codes

Black Codes

Black codes were slavery just in a different name, before black codes there was slavery but black codes. Black codes were an attempt from the white's to recreate slavery. Black codes were new because it limited the rights of black people and segregated them from the white. When slavery ended it gave the Freemans just a little bit of equality, they got just a little bit more choices about where they work and what they own. The short term impact was that it gave the Freedman's limited rights and the long term "change" was equality, and after black codes segregation started.

Black codes were really bad but it was a lot better than what they went through which was slavery. Black codes gave more rights to black which was slowly and slowly starting to be taken away as southerners started inventing their own harsh black codes. "One by one southerners created their own black codes" (Perritano 21). African Americans were allowed to do things during black codes that they weren't allowed to do in slavery which were things like they were allowed to own property, enter into contracts. Marry but not marry a white person because it was against the black codes and they would be sentenced to prison for life if they do so which did happen, and they were also allowed to sue in court, and also be sued. Although it was better than slavery it wasn't enough because black code's increasing and increasing, getting harsher and harsher.

"Black codes were essentially designed to return the social and economic order of the south to a facsimile of antebellum times" (Jones 93.)When they wrote the new laws they used the words slave or freedman's replacing the word Negro. The laws were different in each state, "In writing the new laws, postwar southern legislatures often turned to the old slave codes" (Jones 93). Freedman's weren't allowed to do a lot of things such as own homes, land, or any kind of property. They weren't allowed to marry a white person, it was forbidden. They had to move aside when a white women were on the sidewalk, They had to remove their hats when they were wearing it near a white person was near them, in their presence to show respect, They had to address white people appropriately, They didn't have the right to hold a public office, they weren't allowed to participate in riots it was illegal and police could even arrest them for just standing in groups, they couldn't have public education. , they had to obey commands that white people gave to them "Illegal for freedmen to preach the gospel without a license" (Jones 94).They didn't have the right to serve in jury. Any black found after 10 at night with a note were sent to prison. They weren't allowed to sell liquor, or allowed to use offensive language or gestures, it was illegal. It was Illegal for them to carry firearms. Their kids didn't have the right to go to public schools, in some towns they weren't even allowed to own rooms. In South Carolina they couldn't open a store unless they had a license that the judge gave them, most importantly, they weren't allowed to vote and last but not the least they weren't allowed to leave their plantations. The white's just kept going with these codes because they believed in white supremacy.

There were a lot of punishments if the freedman didn't follow the harsh codes that were stacked up against them. If the freedman's didn't follow the penal code they had to pay a fine, "If the freeman refuses to pay, he will be hired out to any white man who will pay" (Jones 94). If a freedman does marry a white person they'll be sent to prison for the rest of their life. "If an apprentice escapes and is caught master may reclaim him" (Jones 94). Anyone who doesn't follow the law was deemed a vagrant .All vagrants were fined up to $50 and jailed up to 10 days. If a white male employ's or aids a freedman that ran that ran away, would have to pay up to $200 penalty. They would be imprisoned for selling things without permission. Employer was legally allowed to punish the freedman's in anyway a parent would to their kid for example: beating, whipping, branding and etc.

Black codes only gave African Americans just a little, tiny bit of freedom the laws were different in each state and the black codes made it so that freedman's had to work because in many states if you didn't have a job you would be arrested for vagrancy. By 1866 black codes were suspended by federal officials who thought that these codes were too harsh and African Americans should have the same equality as the white's. Segregation was a huge factor, segregation effected freemen hugely they didn't have the same facilities the white people did such as the voting rights, they weren't allowed to work in high level jobs, and public transportation, because they weren't allowed to sit in the same places as white people. They weren't allowed to eat in the same places as the white's or drink in the same fountains that white people drank in. Segregation started after black codes because of the fact that whites didn't like black having the same equality and opportunities as them. Even the schools were unfair, cause they went to separate schools in some schools only black's were allowed and on some school only white's were allowed. African children's didn't have the same opportunities for education as the white kids, whatever the white children's had African kid's had less or none at all because they went to separate schools, and white kids had more facilities and better education system than the black's. "For 75 years southerners whites used these laws to bar blacks from restaurants, hotels, trains, and other places" (Perritano 24).Segregation was a separation of people from different racial group. Segregation was started by the white's because they didn't like African American's having the same equal rights as them.

When the civil war ended and slavery with it black people didn't know how to react, they had been part slavery for so long they didn't know that, that day would come and they didn't know what to make of it. They were very confused and didn't know what to do. The African Americans were not only confused but also worried about whose going to feed them, and their children's, where are they going to work, How are they going to live after slavery ended they got a lot more rights but at first they didn't know what to make of it, what they should do, if they should enjoy that they're now free or be worried about how they are going to live their new life.

Black people didn't have the 3 main things they needed to have, which they got after segregation and black codes ended the 3 more important things are freedom because black wasn't able to provide for themselves economically, they weren't allowed to participate in things like politics, they were also not allowed to be with anyone or be in a relationship with anyone without the consent of their master. After slave codes ended freedmen were able to provide their families economically because they had freedom, they were free.

Black codes kept racism undead. Education was a huge factor because freedman's wanted to learn, they wanted to be educated, and they were willing to learn for happiness. The freedmen's had no way of doing anything they couldn't even get a simple job to feed their family because of the way they were made, because of the color of their skin. Even though the African Americans wanted to study they couldn't because they couldn't do any more than agricultural work because that was their only task during slavery, and after freedom they still only knew how to do that. Freedman's first needed to get educated than needed to get a home. Black people had so many different problems that they stayed in low class society for so long because of all the problems they faced but chance to get educated was given to the freedman's later on, and it even provided free food and even helped newly freed slaves find jobs.

Black codes gave them more freedom but it only made their life harder because they had to go by the laws and if they didn't there were tons of laws that were just plain unfair such as they could be arrested for vagrancy (being poor) or they would be commanded into involuntary servitude, and the Ku Klux Klan only made the freedman's life even worse because they hung black black's because they weren't in agreement to slavery. The Ku Klux Klan supported white supremacy, anti- Semitism, anti- Catholicism, racism, anti-communism, and nativism. They got away with crimes to ethnic groups and didn't get punished for it, not only that but they also attacked Jews, Catholics, and other groups. They would randomly take black guys or people walking and hang them; they would also injure people that spoke out against them. They would shoot at black people's houses and cars that didn't do anything. The Ku Klux Klan has done a lot of horrible stuff but they rarely got arrested, it was very difficult to find them. Their fear that they're going to get caught made them never stay at a same place for too long. The Ku Klux Klan got weaker and weaker as years went by because freedman's got stronger and stronger. As the years went by the police forces also got better, and stronger. Strangely, many tried to bring them back in power. However, the Ku Klux Klan never got strong as it was in the first few years when it started. The KKK dressed in white robes because white is the color of purity.

The KKK was trying to develop "100% Americanism", which means they were against Catholics, Jews, blacks, immigrants, and unions. The KKK was trying to say that blacks cannot be Christians. They would burn the crosses to not disrespect but more like to say go Christianity, and sadly KKK's are still around despite everything. The happiest day for African people/ freedman's were when the segregation finally ended which was in July 2, 1964 they got better opportunities than they had, equal opportunities as the whites. Their kids had better education system because they were now studying in the same place as whites, their work they had better chances of finding a job now that they had equal opportunities they were paid the same amount plus things like eat they could eat in the same place as white people and drink in the water fountain that only white's could drink in, they could sit in the bus. Last and definitely not the least they were now allowed to vote, which was the ultimate proof that African Americans had the same equality as the white people when they were allowed to vote.

From all the facts it's a definite fact that best part of black codes was when it was over, and when segregation ended. Segregation was probably the biggest impact that happened to African Americans after slavery because after segregation was over so many newly freed slaves got freedom, and more importantly they got the right to vote, and they also got the equality they wanted and always dreamt for.


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