Wednesday, December 1, 2010

13th Amendment Artwork

"Section 1. 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, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation"
 - 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution
The 13th amendment is one of the Civil War Amendments, along with amendments 14 and 15.  The 13th Amendment forbids involuntary service or slavery, unless that is a punishment given for a crime. To be clear, the 13th amendment didn't give slaves equal rights instantly, it did give them a basis for which they could base their fight for freedom off of. Up until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, segregation and degradation of the African-American race occurred in the masses, mainly in the South. The 13th amendment gave African American Civil Rights lawyers a legal basis in which to make their cases off of. In several court cases, it could be used as a justification for the defense. For example, The Scottsboro Boys case where racism took precedent over fact. As someone of African American descent, I find the 13th amendment to be a very important, because of this amendment I am a free citizen in the United States. I find this to be one of the several amendments that are extremely relevant to who I am as an American, yes all of the amendments are important, but some do not apply to everyone. 

By Minute Man

The artwork for the 13th Amendment that I chose represents the "Juneteenth Day" which commemorated the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas and announced the end of the Civil War and freedom for black slaves. This is the first time that some slaves heard the news, and the first time it was delivered to all the people of Texas with the imprimatur of the Federal Government. However, it was not until the 13th Amendment was adopted in December 1865 that slavery was ended in all parts of the United States. Lastly, Juneteenth is actually a big deal and has become a day of remembrance to some families. Juneteenth continues to be highly revered in Texas, with many former slaves and descendants making an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on this date.

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