Le Code Noir

Photos by Kichea S. Burt

Voices in the Dark Company Theatre, Inc. presented a preview of their powerful play titled Le Code Noir on December 3, 2017 in Congo Square. The play is directed by Tommye Myrick and was written by playwright Mark Sumner. The play is a depiction of Le Code Noir (The Black Codes) found in Louisiana, and how in many ways, these Black codes, regulated the behavior of the slave and in many cases the free man of color as well.

Black codes were harsh and restrictive but also granted the Black man certain rights not normally enjoyed by the slaves in the American colonies. In many cases the slave family could not be separated. They were able to have Sundays to themselves. They were able to work and earn wages so that they could buy their freedom, and, in many cases the Slave master could be punished for sever mistreatment of his slaves .

It was this Black Code of law that allowed the Louisiana slaves to eventually break the bondage of slavery and become free, which many of them did long before the Emancipation Proclamation.

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