Freedom and Terror

What does freedom mean to you?To most people freedom is part of their everyday lives, it is the knowing that you can go out to public places and not be threatened.The basic rights that we take for granted today, like for example freedom of speech and the right to bare arms, were merely dreams to the freed slaves of 1865.Although they were considered free by the national government, ex-slaves were not free, they were constantly terrorized by whites.The North had won freedom for slaves; however it was the South that would place the limitations on them.State governments set up what were known as Black Codes, laws that defined freedom for African Americans in ways that were similar to slavery, to regulate and control the former slaves.Whites in the South formed racist groups to terrorize African Americans and whites that were against slavery, the most notorious being the Ku Klux Klan.These groups and even non-members would hold public hangings, or lynching, of former slaves and other blacks.Freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes were constantly haunted by the enforcement of Black Codes and fearful of public lynching and the Ku Klux Klan, after being released from slavery.
The Mississippi Black Codes of November 1865 was considered "an act to confer Civil Rights on Freedmen," similar to the Bill of Rights.Included were laws like, "it shall be unlawful for any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to inter-marry with any white person," if this were to happen they would be sent to the State penitentiary for life.Other laws included rules for having a job; while freedmen could have jobs they had numerous restrictions.If you held a job for longer than a one month period there must be a labor contract, and if you were to quit "without good cause" you could be arrested and lose your wages.Freedmen were also not allowed to bare arms, they had no way to defend themselves without weapons.This made …


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