This article by Jerrell H. Shofner is mainly about Florida's Black Codes. These "black
codes" were laws that were intended both to guarantee the subservice of the entire black
population and to assure the continued division of Southern Society along strict racial lines.
These black codes were only the first set of measures designed to preserve the "Southern way of
life." Other measures such as the "Jim Crow" laws, which legalized segregation in public facilities
along with other concepts, were followed. Such concepts and laws prevented blacks from rising
above the lowest social economic group, or even to protest effectively.
The article starts off by talking about Dr. Deborah Coggins , a white health officer for
Madison, Jefferson, and Taylor counties. Dr. Deborah Coggins was dismissed from her position
because according to North Floridians and other whites, Dr. Coggins had violated one of the
strictest taboos of her community when "she ate with the darkies." It was against the law for
blacks and whites to socialize in the 1950s in Florida. The delegates to the 1865 constitutional
convention and the members of the 1865-1866 legislature who created the Florida black codes
saw blacks as mentally inferior and incompetent to order their own affairs and to them rejection
to the superior white race was their natural condition.
Florida had a slave code regulating almost every activity in the lives of blacks. It was
understandable that the lawmakers of 1865-1866 would draw on their past experiences and on