African Americans in America Essay

2157 Words Aug 4th, 2014 9 Pages
African Americans in America: The Fight
Name
HIS204: American History Since 1865
Dr. Kirk Strawbridge
30 Sep 13

African Americans have struggled with freedom before America was even a country. Freedom is something that Americans today take for granted. We look at third world countries that continue to exercise discrimination and segregation and America looks down on them. American’s fight wars to protect those discriminated against in other countries. We are almost numb to the fact that we, as Americans, were one of these countries. Some may even feel that these ignorant ideologies still exist today. No one wants to look o the past when this country was not acting like the America we try to project
…show more content…
The Thirteenth Amendment constitutionally ended slavery in 1865. It was the follow-through of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Thirteenth Amendment stated “ Neither slave nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States” (1865). The Fourteenth Amendment became the first civil rights legislation by granting citizenship rights. The Fourteenth Amendment also defined what a citizen was in order to make it clear that African American, whether ex-slaves or not, were indeed citizens (Bowles, 2011). At the time, The Fifteenth Amendment was the most controversial and occurred during General Ulysses S. Grant’s term. The Fifteenth Amendment stated the “The tight of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account for race, color, or previous condition of servitude” Bowles, 2011). The Civil War seemed to end slavery, although the beginning of the reconstruction seemed promising, it would be a struggle for African Americans.
The Reconstruction Era started with the end of the Civil War. The Civil War Amendments seemed to lay the law and clearly state that African Americans were free. The country was still divided and this was clear in the Southern states. The Black Codes fueled the racial hatred and violence in the Southern states by creating legislation that restricted