What was life for free black in Antebellum America?

"Ah never had no good times till ah was free" - Richard Toler.

    Free blacks in the antebellum period were somewhat outspoken about the injustice of slavery. Their ability to express themselves, however, was determined by whether they lived in the North or the South. Free blacks, especially in the North, were active participants in American society. Black men enlisted as soldiers and fought in the American Revolution. Other black men just lived their life how they wanted to, and not be judge by whites. But some blacks were still being harrased, and acused of being a slave. During the Antebellum Period, some property rights were available, but voting and serving on juries were generally not allowed. 
    The term black codes usually refers to statutes designed to regulate and define the status of free blacks. In some antebellum slave states, black codes were incorporated into the laws regulating slaves, which were known as slave codes. They were designed to oppress blacks and to eliminate the small free black population in the South and in the few Northern states that passed such laws.