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Segregation In The United States: The Black Codes

1493 words - 6 pages

America has been the site of discrimination in race for years. The Black Codes were laws each state came up with on their own that limit certain rights, prevent them from voting, and keep the black slaves under white control. Even after the Black Codes ended, a new way to keep African-Americans unequal came up. The Jim Crow laws were a series of laws passed in order to keep African-Americans unequal from white Americans. Every state had their own form of the Jim Crow laws. African-Americans used to be treated very poorly by the rest of the United States. They were still treated as though they were slaves until the end of the Jim Crow laws. Even after that, southern states still attempted to keep African-Americans from being equal to the rest of Americans. Taxes were put up in order to vote, which kept African-Americans from doing so because most were very poor. They still did not have equal opportunity in the work force either. African-Americans were not the only ones being treated like this either. Native Americans and Hispanics were treated the same way that African-Americans were. The United States used to treat immigrants inadequately.
The Black Codes made life very hard for African-Americans. Most states came up with their own Black Codes. They were still treated as if they were property of the whites, even though slavery had been ended. It affected their everyday lives; their workday was from sunrise to sunset. The African-Americans were not allowed to farm, travel, own weapons, or be out past a certain time. If these codes were not obeyed, they would be fined and sent to jail. They also had to pay a fine for the time spent in jail, and if they couldn’t, then they went to a work camp to pay the debt. These camps were basically exactly like slavery. The camps forced African-Americans to do hard labor for even longer than their normal schedule. South Carolina Black Codes were much harsher than other states. The farther south you went the worse the laws were towards African-Americans; South Carolina being an exception. African-Americans were not allowed to gather together unless a white person was present. African-Americans were not allowed to learn how to read or write in any circumstance. In Louisiana, African-Americans were not allowed to speak in public places without written consent of a white person. In Kentucky, an African-American person and a white person were not allowed to marry in any circumstance. In the North, very few people owned slaves at all so many African-Americans tried to escape their employers by running north. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments extended more civil rights to African-Americans, ending the cruel history of the Black Codes (Farmer).
After the Black Codes were outlawed, the Jim Crow laws came into effect. The main point of the Jim Crow laws was the term “separate but equal”. This meant that it was legal to segregate African-Americans as long as they had a place as their own to go to. Public places...

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