A Very Brief History Of The Mississippi Black Codes

1719 Words7 Pages

Throughout history, race has been an ongoing theme. Race was used to define a person as well as the rights that they held. People of races other than white were given little to none respect and were not treated as human beings but instead property. It was a constant battle between races, therefore forming a them versus us society. Through history there were many people who were treated based off their race, there were many different government made laws and documents that defined and laid out the rights of those certain races. This includes documents such as the Mississippi Black Codes which defined what it truly meant to be a “free slave” in the state of Mississippi as well as Laws Pertaining to Slaves and Servants, Virginia 1629-1672 which …show more content…

Their rights were often compared to the rights of white people. Mississippi Black Codes states in section 2 that “all freedmen, free Negroes, and mulattoes may intermarry with each other, in the same manner and under the same regulations that are provided by law for white persons” (Mississippi Black Codes). They separated society based off of a person’s skin color and ethnicity. People of different races were treated differently which made society a them versus us environment. Laws from Virginia required a slave to gain permission before they were able to leave the plantation. Similarly, even after the Civil War, Black Codes required slaves to do similar things. In A People & A Nation published by Cengage, written by American Historian Mary Norton and Professor of History at Harvard University Jane Kamensky, it states that slaves had to “carry passes, observe a curfew, and live in housing provided by a landowner” (Norton). They were treated as property and did not receive any respect. Documents such as the Mississippi Black Codes even led to segregation laws being made later in history. The segregation laws emphasized the them versus us way of life. With different buses, water fountains, bathrooms, and public seating came an even larger separation between the two races in America. Throughout history, people of different races were treated almost as if they were another species. It was as if, if you were in this world and you were not white then that meant that you were put on this world for a different reason. The norm was to be white and those who weren’t were thrown into completely different lives because of it. When anyone tried to disturb this way of life, whites refused and rioted. The Black Codes allowed for the southern states to be content by still having more rights than African Americans. With slavery ending, they needed to find a way

Open Document