2. Connecting Historical and Contemporary Social Problems

2. Connecting Historical and Contemporary Social Problems

The “black codes,” including vagrancy statutes and pig laws, were employed to criminalize black life throughout the South, and to restrict the movement of black Americans in the public sphere. Use your book and other references to research and write an essay about the origins of the “black codes,” and the unequal enforcement of the laws. When were vagrancy laws finally ruled illegal by the Supreme Court? Discuss the details of the case(s) that led to the Supreme Court’s decision. Now, research and then discuss New York City’s police department use of “stop and frisk”. How was/is the department’s “stop and frisk” policy, which disproportionately targets black and Latino men, similar, but yet different than the enforcement of the “black codes,” or the vagrancy laws that were, once, heavily employed throughout the South? Discuss the case(s) that challenged the constitutionality of “stop and frisk.”