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Slave Codes Teacher Resources
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Build a historical perspective from four different points of view. Young historians take on the role of a slave-owning white person, non-slave owning white person, slave, or free African-American person and imagine what life would be like based on their reading. They each write a reaction to the seven Colonial New York Slave Codes from the perspective they chose. The activity concludes with a class discussion that is sure to be engaging.
Look critically at the slave laws instated in Colonial New York. Your class examines primary source documents, slave laws, a narrative account from a slave's perspective, and Slave Codes. They write diary or journal entries in response to the codes from the perspective of either a slave or a slave owner.
Students explore slavery by reviewing the written laws intended to keep African Americans subservient. In this U.S. slavery lesson, students analyze a time-line of the history of African Americans. Students discuss the patterns of the time-line and how the legal codes restricted freedom of black men and women based upon their population.
Students explore the Africane, the first slave ship to bring slaves to the area, entered the port of Mobile in 1721. In 1724 the French Code Noir was extended into the Mobile area and provided the basic laws and conditions of slavery. Additional laws were passed to regulate slavery after Alabama became a territory and then a state. The antebellum legal status of slaves and "free persons of color" in the state of Alabama was defined and codified in the Slave Code of 1833.
Fourth graders learn about a slavery rebellion. In this slavery lesson, 4th graders work in groups to review different non-violent ways enslaved Africans protested slavery. Students learn about the Stono Rebellion, read a letter detailing the accounts of the rebellion, and review the new slave codes.
Sixth graders explore the history of racism by analyzing legal documents. In this slavery lesson, 6th graders collaborate in small groups to read the Alabama Slavery Codes from the 1800's and discuss their relevance to today's society. Students utilize the web to research slavery further and complete a worksheet.