Beginning with the latter, when one looks at the slavery era to freedom a few surprising details are revealed. In 1865 right after emancipation A Madison County Mississippi Judge along with many white democrats in the region assumed and hoped that the former slaves would forego the commitment and responsibilities of marriage. At the behest of many former slave masters a law for blacks was passed that legalized simply “living together”.
One man remembered two radical whites one a minister and the other a legal officer, told blacks that children born outside of legal marriage were “bastards” and could not inherit property. The Mississippi ex-slaves were no different in their commitment to legal marriage than ex slaves in North Carolina and elsewhere.
In fact, convincing evidence chronicled in the book, ‘The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom’ shows both black and white marriage registration rates. In 1870, according to the Republican Mississippi Governor James L. Alcorn, 3,427 blacks in thirty-one counties purchased marriage licenses: whites in those same counties bought 2,204 licenses. Proportionately more blacks than whites purchased marriage licenses that year.
In 1882-1883 many democrats tried to convince themselves and anyone who would listen that blacks declined morally after emancipation. However, marriage being one measure of the supposed decline explained by Charles K. Marshall, the prominent Vicksburg Methodist clergyman, defended the blacks against their democrat critics. He cited the marriage licenses to whites and blacks in Hinds County “First District” between January 1879 and January 1883. Of 684 licenses issued, three in four went to blacks. The percentage of licenses issued to blacks (75.3 percent) equaled the percentage of blacks aged fifteen to forty-four (74.5 percent) living in Hinds County in 1880. In some locations, blacks purchased a higher percentage of marriage licenses than the white population.
That infuriated the democrats and former slave masters who did not want to see blacks independently able to fend for themselves. They understood that strong intact families enabled people to more successfully navigate the rigors of life. Of course, the racist democrats would have none of that and continued to try and convince blacks that a higher level of living was not for them. Blacks migrated north and west to seek better opportunities and get away from the democrats who worked day and night to devise ways to force blacks to live below their God given abilities and purpose in this life. Throughout the decades leading up to the Civil Rights or as my Dad called it,“the bastardized rights movement”that will be explained in my upcoming book.
Frederick Douglas literally begged his fellow abolitionists to approach escaped and later freed slaves as regular people and allow them to rise or fall based upon their own efforts and in the long run “they would be fine”. Many abolitionists ignored his worthy plea and set out to treat blacks as lesser beings who should be free, but not too bright intellectually. In fact, they viewed Frederick Douglas, who was more accomplished than they as if he was accidentally intelligent and could not be duplicated in the black race. In that regard they were no better than the democrats and former slave masters who knew blacks were intelligent. But sought to keep them “in their place”, by not allowing them to learn to read, or own their own businesses.
Eventually, racist democrats and KKK members were no longer able to get away with physically preventing blacks from education, owning a business, living where they could afford, etc. But their dastardly mission of lording over blacks never diminished. The democrats understood that to maintain their power base, they needed a gullible population of voters to sustain their power. Over time, closet racist democrats gained control of the government education systems. Overtime good quality education was transformed into mind numbing indoctrination and dummying down, all at taxpayer expense.