In Louisiana, between 1724 and 1803, a slave code was created called the Louisiana Code Noir or the Black Code of Louisiana, designed to give guidance to colonists who “owned” slaves. The French king established these codes of conduct, based on rules created in 1685 for French colonies in the Caribbean. Because I live in an era when the president of the United States is black, the codes serve as a reminder that we have come a long way. One of the code articles has this sentence:
“… nor shall they be called to give their testimony either in civil or in criminal cases, except when it shall be a matter of necessity, and only in default of white people…”
Think of the thousands of African-Americans who have successfully finished law school, passed their bar exams and now serve as legal attorneys for the American people. Of that… we can be proud.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy. Available Here:
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