Dr. Kenneth M. Davis, President
The Mississippi National Baptist Convention shall be a body of baptized believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and shall promote Spirituality, Humility, Accountability, Respectability, and Encouragement
(S.H.A.R.E) to all mankind at home and in foreign fields, according to the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Spirituality, Humility, Accountability, Respectability, Encouragement.
Black Chronicle Lesson Plan
Rev. Dennis Stevenson, Pastor
New Faith Missionary Baptist Church
Moss Point, MS
“From Pressure, Pain to Prosperity”
“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. Exodus 1:12 KJV.
There are many debates regarding the chosen people of God. In my opinion, there is no other race that parallels God’s chosen than the black race. Out of all the pressure, pain, punishment, poverty, persecution, and problem, the black race has always found a way to prosper.
1870 Black Codes vs Reconstruction
• Black Codes were put in place to restrict the progression of Black people post slavery
• Black codes :
o Limited the type of property that Black people could own
o Restricted the types of jobs they could have
o Forced them into labor contracts that still mimicked slavery
o Did not give black people true autonomy and freedom
• Reconstruction was prompted by Northerners who protested against southern states for trying to reinstate slavery
• The Reconstruction Act of 1867 weakened Black codes by requiring all states to uphold equal protection under the 14th amendment.
• While the 15th amendment gave black men the right to vote state legislatures put ridiculous measures in place to disenfranchise black men.
o For example, the grandfather clause said that a man could vote if his ancestor had been a voter before 1867. Of course, most African American ancestors were enslaved and did not have the right to vote.
o Another tactic was the literacy test. The literacy tests given to black people were difficult while white individuals received a much easier test. Additionally, many blacks were forbidden from learning how to read during slavery therefore, many were not able to read in order to vote.
o State legislatures also denied black people the opportunity to register to vote
• Even through all of the restriction and barriers that oppressors tried to institute Black people still found ways to build community and establish themselves as “free citizens”.
o Education: When African Americans were given the right to vote and hold political power, they created public schools to educate blacks.
o Partnered with Northern, liberal organizations to gain funding to support the education of black people
o In Skidway, Island GA 1000 black people established a self-governing community
• There was some progression amongst black people. Legal decisions were made to give black people “rights and opportunities” however, white supremacists still put barriers in place to prevent black individuals from exercising those rights.
Plessy v. Ferguson & Jim Crow
• The Story Behind the Case
o On June 7, 1892, Homer Adolph Plessy bought a ticket on a train from New Orleans bound for Covington, Louisiana, and took a vacant seat in a whites-only car. After refusing to leave the car at the conductor’s insistence, he was arrested and jailed.
o After Homer was convicted, he filed a complaint against the presiding judge, John H. Ferguson declaring that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment was violated.
o Homer lost and the Supreme Court ruled that his conviction was not a violation of the 14th amendment
• Plessy v. Ferguson was a Supreme Court decision of 1896 that upheld the racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. The case stemmed from an 1892 incident in which African American train passenger Homer Plessy refused to sit in a car for Black people. Rejecting Plessy’s argument that his constitutional rights were violated, the Supreme Court ruled that a law that implies a legal difference between white people and Black people was not unconstitutional. As a result, restrictive Jim Crow legislation and separate public accommodations based on race became commonplace.
• The idea behind separate but equal: While the Supreme Court ruled that blacks and whites have and utilize separate facilities the quality of each facility was meant to be equivalent.
• As mentioned, Plessy v .Ferguson jumpstarted the Jim Crow era. When the decision of “separate but equal” was decided upon laws were put in place to ensure the separation of blacks and whites.
• Laws consisted of:
• attend separate schools and churches
• use public bathrooms marked “for colored only”
• eat in a separate section of a restaurant
• sit in the rear of a bus
Overall Takeaway: While the terms used by state and federal legislatures implied freedom and equality the laws and case decision were rooted in oppression and separation. However, despite the roadblocks put in place African Americans still fought and are still fighting to create true equality.