November 22, 1865: Mississippi Legislature Passes ‘Black Codes’ to Re-Enslave African Americans

0 Posted by - November 22, 2021 - On This Date, Racism, Today In Black History

By Victor Trammell

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On November 22, 1865, Mississippi’s legislature passed the Black Codes, which severely curtailed the rights and freedom of movement of freedmen.

The Black Codes of Mississippi and other Southern states essentially re-enslaved the freedmen who were previously emancipated. In certain regions, any white person has the ability to detain and imprison any Black person without cause. Minor authorities in order states have the ability to detain and imprison Black “vagrants” and “refractory and rebellious Negroes.”

The “Black Codes” forced them to work without compensation on roads and levees, according to the Constitution. In South Carolina, “servants” were expected to work from sunrise to sunset, maintain a peaceful and orderly workplace, and retire at “reasonable hours” after completing their tasks. The possession of agricultural land by Blacks in Mississippi was unlawful.

In South Carolina, Blacks must get a special permit in order to participate in jobs other than domestic and farm labor.

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