Year 11 History
American Civil Rights Movement
After the Civil War, white Americans from the South made quick actions to eliminate the newfound freedom of African Americans. They desired to return blacks to their previous status of slaves, and passed new laws to ensure the process was legal. These laws, referred to as The Black Codes and Jim Crow laws were commandments that not only justified, but legalized the segregation of African Americans and white Americans in the South. On the surface, these laws appeared to be neutral and impartial to all races, however, these laws were explicitly designed to repress black people. In 1865 the first official Black Codes were enacted in Mississippi, and expanded throughout the Southern states. The Black Codes saw the legalization of segregation in the South during the 1860s. They were designed to restrict the freed blacks’ activity and ensure their availability as a labor force after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation proclamation, granting slaves their freedom. However, many ex-slaves’ lives were not enriched by this freedom. The laws specifically discriminated against African Americans, with concern to attendance in public schools and the use of facilities such as theaters, hotels, cinemas and public baths. Not only this, but transport was also segregated, and in many states marriage between whites and African American was forbidden. Due to the deceptive nature of the Black Codes, they were abolished, and the same laws later became known as Jim Crow laws. From the 1880s to the end of the 19th century southern states reinforced a system of white supremacy by legally segregating blacks from whites using legislation. These were the Jim Crow laws, with the philosophy of “separate but equal”; however this was not the case. The name “Jim Crow” was adapted from a black character in minstrel shows, a white man who...
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