black codes

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black codes,

in U.S. history, series of statutes passed by the ex-Confederate states, 1865–66, dealing with the status of the newly freed slaves. They varied greatly from state to state as to their harshness and restrictiveness. Although the codes granted certain basic civil rights to blacks (the right to marry, to own personal property, and to sue in court), they also provided for the segregation of public facilities and placed severe restrictions on the freedman's status as a free laborer, his right to own real estate, and his right to testify in court. Although some Northern states had black codes before the Civil War, this did not prevent many northerners from interpreting the codes as an attempt by the South to reenslave blacks. The Freedmen's BureauFreedmen's Bureau,
in U.S. history, a federal agency, formed to aid and protect the newly freed blacks in the South after the Civil War. Established by an act of Mar. 3, 1865, under the name "bureau of refugees, freedmen, and abandoned lands," it was to function for one year
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 prevented enforcement of the codes, which were later repealed by the radical Republican state governments.

Black Codes


bills introduced in the legislatures of several Southern states after the US Civil War (1861–65). The codes forced Negroes to work for meager wages for their former owners and deprived them of their freedom of movement and their right to own or rent land; they also permitted the use of forced Negro child labor and forbade Negroes to hold meetings of any kind, carry weapons, or marry whites. Provision was made for the formation of special courts to deal with crimes committed by Negroes. The Black Codes were formally abolished in a number of states in the 1870’s, but similar statutes were included in state constitutions and criminal legislation.


Foster, W. Negritianskii narod v istorii Ameriki. Moscow, 1955. Chapter 27. (Translated from English.)
Ivanov, R. F. Bor’ba negrov za zemliu i svobodu na luge SShA, 1865–1877. Moscow, 1958.
References in periodicals archive ?
Since the Black Codes were designed to deny to ex-slaves basic rights enjoyed by all citizens of the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was proposed (in 1865) to guarantee citizenship to all persons, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude, giving them equal access to the protection of the law and to afford them due process of law.
Finding case studies close at hand, she discusses such topics as identifying discourse markers of trust in Texas black codes of 1866, Texas agencies and the challenge of evoking trust, contemporary black business owners, and an invention heuristic for regulatory writing.
These were particularly odious in Mississippi and South Carolina, whose Black Codes sought to virtually reestablish slavery (for instance, an unemployed black man would be arrested as a vagrant, then hired out by the state to work off the fine).
He portrays the South's postwar Black Codes, which harshly curtailed the rights of freed blacks, as comparable to Northern vagrancy laws--an assertion dismissed as "truly absurd" by David Bernstein, a legal scholar at George Mason University and the author of Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts From Reconstruction to the New Deal (2001).
For example, the words "covered workers" in the Social Security Act were the linchpin that created the initial, and formal, preclusion of older, disabled, and dependent African Americans--and especially African American males, partially through the use of the Black Codes, Jim Crow, and white preferential hiring--from the benefits of Social Security, a national insurance for the aged workers (Whiteman, 2001; Ginsberg, 1994; Trattner, 1999; Jansson, 1993; Axinn and Stern, 2005).
These economic fears, along with resentment over the new legal status of black Americans, led to a series of laws in Southern states called the Black Codes, beginning in 1865.
for Burning the City of New-York (1744), Hoffer finds evidence that slaves, ignoring the black codes drank, danced, and cavorted at night and on Sundays.
That's how Tyler, who cracked the black codes to get a recurring role on the blanched NBC sitcom Friends, came to write Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl (Dutton, January 2004).
5] Owning the self further entailed the possibility of owning other forms of property, even though the enforcement of Black codes and the relatively unchecked reign of white supremacist violence made that ownership tenuous.
Instead they gave us 100-plus more years of black codes, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and oppression.
The Black Codes essentially created a set of legal tools for ensuring the continued subordination of black labor to white economic power.
Ferguson decision, whose effect was to reinforce the Black Codes that were enacted beginning in 1865, Codes that bore a remarkable resemblance to Antebellum Slave Codes.