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10 Slave Codes That Were Designed To Oppress and Humiliate Black People


Slave Codes Target Skin Color and Gender

In the South from 1776 to 1861, Blacks, mulattos (mixed white and Black background), Indians and mestizos (mixed Indian and white parentage) were assumed to be slaves and were treated as such, subject to all so-called “slave codes.” However, as the U.S. institution progressed,┬áthe focus became the enslavement of Blacks in particular. So laws were written to determine the status of human beings by skin color and the status of their mother. In Virginia, for example, only a free woman could have free offspring, but if a free white woman tied the knot with an enslaved Black man, she had to become the property of her husband’s master.

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