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Journal

Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs

2016

Laws

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Codification Of Fear: Syg Laws, Thelma L. Harmon Apr 2016

Codification Of Fear: Syg Laws, Thelma L. Harmon

Ralph Bunche Journal of Public Affairs

There is a long history of American states’ codification of “fear” into laws. Laws that can be traced as far back as the 17th century, which were devised to appease white America’s perceived fear of Blacks. Slave Acts were the first of such laws. When slavery was abolished rendering slave laws obsolete, Black Codes and then Jim Crow laws took effect. For over three centuries, these overt racial laws justified racial fear and legitimized the deprivation of basic human and civil rights of Black Americans. Although overt racial laws such as the Codes and Jim Crow ...