The 14th Amendment

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  • We're finally free from the shackles of slavery!
  • That's great! But... Now what?
  • 1865
  • Although African Americans had been set free from slavery, they were still discriminated against and treated as "lesser citizens".
  • What's the point of being free if we're still not treated as equals?
  • Haven't you heard?! We're to become legal citizens!
  • 1868
  • The 14th Amendment to the Constitution stated that anyone born or naturalized in the U.S.A. is a citizen of the U.S. Also, it said that states cannot deny any citizen equal protection of the laws. Basically, any freed men or person of different race that was born or naturalized into the U.S. is to be treated as an equal to white Americans.
  • Now the government will protect us just as much as any white man!
  • Now we won't be treated as if we're below white people, but we will be treated and respected like the people that we are!
  • The 14th Amendment was the first step at African Americans being treated as equals to white people. The purpose of the 13th Amendment was to get slavery out of the picture, whereas the 14th took that a step further and got closer to equalization.
  • At what point are we going to finally treat African Americans fair? We went through a war, now it's time to put down our pride.
  • Only setting them free isn't enough! We must see them as people and not some creature that has been released.
  • Hooray!
  • You may have equal protection from the law and be citizens, but you can't even vote.
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