Mississippi Black Codes

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The Civil war has finally ended and the time for reconstruction is here. The African American slaves of the United States are now free from their despicable owners and there is nothing but opportunity ahead. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendment were passed by congress to ensure equality for former slaves. Slavery has now been abolished, former male slaves now have the right to vote, and also that states could not prohibit citizens from voting based on the color of their skin. All is good in the country and African Americans will finally be looked at as first-class citizens. Right? “The Mississippi Black Codes of 1865” demonstrates that white southerners were not on board with this “New America” and would do anything possible, legal or not, to…show more content…
The state of Mississippi passed controversial laws in 1865 to assure that whites were a step up from African Americans. The basic human rights were guaranteed to blacks but other rights were denied such as the right to vote, hold office, and to intermarry with whites. There were two Laws in particularly that caused the most outrage. Those two horrific Laws were called the Apprentice Law and the Vagrancy law. The Apprentice Law and the Vagrancy Law allowed whites to utterly make change impossible for blacks and the oppression of “freed” slaves continued on throughout the time these Laws were…show more content…
If any white man was seen associating with blacks on terms of equality or if fornication with a freed black man or woman, they shall be deemed vagrants; and upon conviction freedman, free negroes or mulatto will be charged a fine of fifty dollars. Freed slaves charged fifty dollars just for living in equality with whites, but do not worry the state of Mississippi had a plan if a negro was not able to pay the fine. “the duty of the sheriff of the proper county to hire out said freedman, free negro, or mulatto to any person who will pay said fine or forfeiture and all costs.” Some of the only people who had the ability to pay for these services were still the same plantation owners as before slavery was outlawed, leaving colored people charged of this crime to continue working for the same rich white slave owners they formerly have had. On top of these clearly biased Laws there was one more thing just to top it off. The state of Mississippi would levy poll or capitation tax of one dollar annually in order to be free. Putting this in perspective, freed people of color would be taxed twenty-eight dollars a year in today’s money just in order to be free and to live on their own. Perhaps a free slave over the age of eighteen cannot afford or refuses to pay for the tax, they are subject to arrest and will be hired out to a tax payer who will pay the said tax. Once again forcing poor,
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