In the 150 years since the Civil War, African Americans have had to overcome many hurdles and challenges. Slavery was a major cause of the Civil War which nearly divided the United States in half in the mid-1800s. From slavery to Reconstruction to Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era, blacks have long been a marginalized people in this country. Although African Americans have come a long way in the struggle for civil rights, there is still a long way to go. This paper will review African American History from 1865 to present day.
In 1863 President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Nonetheless, the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation. Lincoln recognized that the Emancipation Proclamation would have to be followed by a constitutional amendment in order to guarantee the abolishment of slavery (Retrieved from: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=40).
The 13th amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States, passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House on January 31, 1865. On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution of Congress submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures. The necessary number of states ratified it by December 6, 1865. The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction (Retrieved from: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=40).
The 13th amendment was passed at the end of the Civil War before the Southern states had been restored to the Union and should have easily passed the Congress. Although the Senate passed...