Few whites will eat with blacks. Even where blacks and whites are domestics in the same kitchen, the blacks, as I have been told, are often compelled to eat at a separate table. So it is said that white journeymen and apprentices of mechanics often refuse to work with blacks. The prejudice has taken two different forms in the different parts of our country. At the North, few blacks are mechanics, because the whites will not allow them to work with them. At the South, on the contrary, few of the mechanics are whites, because they will not do the same sort of work as blacks.
--------------- free blacks
The African-American population of the USA during the legal institution of slavery who were not slaves. The first federal census (1790) recorded nearly 60,000 free blacks and more than 690,000 slaves. By 1860 the number of free blacks rose to nearly 490,000. Free blacks were either offspring of free parents, immigrants, or former slaves. Restricted in their movement and denied by law and custom many basic rights, the lives of free blacks were often similar to those of slaves. http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/free+blacks
Lives Most free blacks migrated to cities and towns, where they were more likely to find jobs and social and cultural activities, and where they could remain more anonymous. Free blacks worked as carpenters, masons, engineers, merchants, mechanics, tailors, factory workers, household servants, and farmers. Despite many restrictions some started their own businesses and became factory owners, hoteliers, barbers, and traders. The centre of the free black community was often the church, which was one of the only public places in the South where African Americans were allowed to congregate. Because they were barred from most existing churches, they set up new ones. African Americans were also denied access to most schools and universities. Free blacks, even if they were themselves illiterate, often felt strongly about education and so set up new schools and universities, including Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1854 and Wilberforce University in Ohio in 1856. Further developing community bonds, free blacks formed mutual aid societies which gave death and burial benefits and assistance in times of need, and intellectual and social societies such as literary societies, debating clubs, and fraternal organizations.
Laws Although free blacks did not have owners who controlled their movements, state law and widespread discrimination greatly restricted their freedom. Ohio, for example, required free blacks to post a $500 bond assuring good conduct and means of supporting themselves before they could settle there. Southern states required African Americans to carry proof of their freedom; if they did not possess the correct papers they could be sold as slaves. Many lived under the constant threat of kidnapping and enslavement. In the North, African Americans were required to have a pass to enter any town in some parts of New England. The rising number of free blacks led to further restrictions of their activities. In almost every state they were denied the right to vote and hold public office. They were usually excluded from white schools and churches as well as restaurants, hotels, theatres, museums, and all forms of public transportation. In the South free blacks had curfews and restrictions against purchasing alcohol and firearms. They were not allowed to testify in a court case against a white person. In Florida and Georgia free men had to report to white guardians periodically. All of these laws and codes were designed to keep African Americans in a subordinate role in US society. Economic opportunities Most free blacks, denied the education and opportunities open to whites, lived in poverty. Despite antislavery sentiment in the North, free blacks were more prosperous in the South, with many more opportunities to practise their trades. In the North they had to compete against European immigrants for many jobs and were barred from joining trade unions. Some of the wealthiest free blacks in the South were slave owners themselves. Others grew wealthy through new businesses. Sea captain Paul Cuffe became a wealthy shipbuilder and merchant. Sailmaker James Forten from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hired workers of all races in his plant. --------------------- North v. south According to the 1790 census, about 90?f African Americans lived in the South, but nearly half of the free blacks, around 27,000, lived in the North. By the turn of the century virtually all African Americans in the North had been freed from slavery. In general, restrictions on the freedoms of northern African Americans were less severe, and in contrast to the South, they were allowed to protest against their restrictions. Northern African Americans also had more channels to protest against their condition: through churches, newspapers, and political movements, such as abolitionism. Southern African Americans, however, had more economic opportunities open to them as there was a much greater need for labour and less competition from whites for their jobs. But in both North and South, African Americans were treated as inferiors and denied the rights and opportunities available to whites.