November 24, 2013

On this day November 24th ...

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On November 24, 1865 Mississippi enacted a series of restrictive laws known as "black codes," which were designed to restrict freed blacks' activity and ensure their availability as a labor force now that slavery had been abolished.

For instance, many states required blacks to sign yearly labor contracts; if they refused, they risked being arrested as vagrants and fined or forced into unpaid labor. Northern outrage over the black codes helped undermine support for Johnson's policies, and by late 1866 control over Reconstruction had shifted to the more radical wing of the Republican Party in Congress. The so-called "Black Codes" also barred blacks from jury service, testifying against whites in trials, bearing arms and attending white schools.

Also on the 24th of November in 2005 South African President Thabo Mbeki hails Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for making history by becoming Africa's first elected woman president in post-war elections. Mbeki said President Sirleaf's election signaled a "new dawn for African women". President Sirleaf, a 67-year old Harvard-educated technocrat, defeated football legend George Weah who secured only 40,6% of the votes. Though international observers declared the elections free and fair, minor irregularities were reported. President Sirleaf faced the daunting task of reviving Liberian economy, which has been brought to its knees by fourteen years of civil war.

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