#OnThisDay November 22, 1865 Mississippi began enacting "Black Codes," including one that required sheriffs to roud up Black orphans or "children who weren't kept well" and sell then to white people as laborers.

Didn't know about the "Black Codes"?

#GladYouAsked
Let me warn a whole lot of people this thread right here is probably going to trigger a whole LOT of emotions and feelings. You have been warned.
The end of the outright enslavement of human being in the US still meant freedom eluded most Black people, thanks to the repressive set of laws known as the Black codes. These laws were widely enacted in the wake of the Civil War.
These laws, beginning with MS in 1865, limited the rights of Black people + exploited us as a labor source. In fact, life after bondage didn’t differ much from life during bondage for most Black people. THis was no accident - enslavement of human beings was a billion $ industry.
First, there was the value of enslaved humans. In 1860, the value of enslaved humans was 3X the total amount of money in banks, 7X the amount of currency and 48X the TOTAL FEDERAL BUDGET FOR FY 1860.
pbs.org/wnet/african-a…
Let's break this down in modern federal dollars. Our annual budget is about $3.3 trillion in mandatory and discretionary spending. In one fiscal year, the bodies of my ancestors alone? Worth over $158 TRILLION.
Second, cotton created the commercial empire that became NYC was the driving force for expansion to the west, trade b/w the US and Europe, and was the LEADING American export from 1803 to 1937. The US produced 80% of all the cotton IN THE WORLD.
Finally, cotton fed the textile revolution in the United States. New England had 52% of manufacturing in the US, and relied on enslaved labor to supply these mills. 67% of the cotton produced were finished by mills in New England; the south really didn't have many.
On the eve of the Civil War, New England's economy was FUNDAMENTALLY dependent on cotton. It was inextricably intertwined to my enslaved ancestors in the south. It was a miracle New England joined the Union to fight enslavement in the south.
Losing the Civil War meant the south had little choice but to recognize the Reconstruction-era policies that abolished enslavement. Using the law to deny Black people freedom = to white people meant they could keep these newly liberated Americans in virtual bondage.
On November 22, 1865, the Mississippi legislature passed “An Act to regulate the relation of master and apprentice, as relates to freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes.”
Under the law, sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other county civil officers were authorized and required to identify all Black children in their jurisdictions who were orphans or whose parents could not properly care for them.
Once identified, the local probate court was required to “apprentice” Black children to white “masters or mistresses” until age 18 for girls and age 21 for boys.

You can't make this stuff up.
After the Civil War, Southern states faced the task of rebuilding their infrastructures and economies. At the same time, the young white male population had been drastically reduced by war-time casualties. The war freed enslaved Black labor that had largely built the south.
In response, legislatures in the south passed laws applicable only to Black workers that complied with the letter of the law on paper, but actually sought to recreate the enslaver-enslaved conditions of involuntary servitude that existed prior to emancipation.
Though the law did not require white "employers" to pay the children they "hired" a wage, the law did require them to pay the county a fee for the apprentice arrangement.
The law claimed to require white “masters” to provide their apprentices with education, medical care, food, and clothing, but it also re-instituted horrible elements of enslavement. The children's former enslavers were given 1st shot to hire those formerly enslaved by them.
In addition, the law authorized white "masters" to “re-capture” any "apprentice" who left their employment without consent, and threatened children with criminal punishment for refusing to return to work.
These Black Codes eventually gave way to "Jim Crow," the racial caste system that relegated Black people to second-class citizens. It also had its own de facto codes, rules and regulations. Ferris State University has an excellent resource on Jim Crow.

ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.h…
Newspapers regularly referred to Black people by only derogatory terms and reflected anti-Black stereotypes. Jim Crow + Black Codes underscored how white people were superior to Black people in intelligence, morality, behavior, money, academic achievement - everything.
Black people FOUGHT for the mere sanctity of our dignity, self-worth, value and safety - often losing our lives in doing so. We REJECTED horrible and demeaning stereotypes, knowing how they would affect our children and grand children. We fought to create a safe sanctuary for us.
FIN/
"There are things I feel strong about . . . one is not to forget where I come from and the other is to praise the bridges that carried us over."

Fannie Lou Hamer

Sources:
calendar.eji.org/racial-injusti…
history.com/news/black-cod…
pbs.org/wnet/african-a…
ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.h…

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Don't know about Shuttlesworth v. Board of Education?

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Don't know about this? #Gladyouasked.
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