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Mississippi Black Code


MississippiBlack Code

The document is entitled The Civil Rights of Freedmen inMississippi and formed part of the infamous “Mississippi BlackCodes.” The laws were enacted by the Mississippi legislature onNovember 25, 1865. The document was addressed to freedmen in thestate (The , 1865). Although slavery had beenabolished, some people were determined to restrict the social,political, and economic welfare of the blacks.

The document mentioned several important factors. Firstly, thelegislature granted freedmen the right to acquire personal property.This was significant since it dignified blacks and allowed them tocontrol their destiny. Secondly, the legislators permitted thefreedmen to intermarry with each other. This was vital since itallowed blacks to form legally-recognized unions with their peers.Furthermore, the legislators granted freedmen the right to testify incourts of law. This was crucial since it empowered blacks to resistoppression and fight for their civil rights.

The document stated “that it shall not be lawful for any freedman,free Negro, or mulatto to intermarry with any white person nor forany white person to intermarry with any freedman, free Negro, ormulatto” (The , 1865). This quote is highlysignificant since it revealed the lingering hatred that whites hadfor blacks. Although the freedmen were granted certain rights,Southern lawmakers harbored animosity. In this regard, the latterregarded blacks as inferior and hence sought to avoid contamination.


Indeed, whites made deliberate efforts to restrict the economic,political, and social development of freedmen. Nevertheless, Iwondered what justification was used to curtail the rights of blacks.The document also failed to answer why freedmen were required toabide by terms of service even though slavery was outlawed. Notably,the topic is discussed in pages 471, 472, 475, and 476 contained inchapter 22.


The . (1865). BlackPast.org. Retrievedfrom http://www.blackpast.org/primary/1866-mississippi-black-codes