Jul. 28, 2017
Today in Black History Broken Promises, Broken Protections
The 14th Constitutional Amendment which supposedly guaranteed equal protection of citizenship rights to recently freed slaves was passed on this day July 28, 1868. We know now of course that the 14th Amendment was only actually tea-paper thin and ignored by virtually every state in the union, especially those recently reconverted Confederate southern states who for 96 years acted as if the Civil War was an aberration. Black people were re-enslaved until the Civil Rights Bill of 1964. After the election of 1876 when Rutherford B. Hayes sold the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments down the river of infinite despair. Black Americans were again bonded in servitude more slave than free. Some say it was until May 17, 1954's Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education decision provided the impetus towards full citizenship rights but that wasn't the case. Since southern states ignored that court decision openly and defied any obligation to implement it or judicially legislate it.
So you have to step ahead to the year 1964, Civil Rights Bill, which reinstituted the specific protections for black citizens that were ignored by southern states in the 14th Amendment. In 1870 the 15th Amendment was passed which gave recently freed black men the right to vote. It was 95 years until the vote was actually restored in the southern states of America with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Bill. So today when we, Black Americans, should be celebrating 149 years of full equal rights. In actuality, we as a people are only celebrating 53 years of equal constitutional protection. Some even say the period of Freedom's jubilant celebration is even shorter in duration. We do know this even though July 28, 1868, signifies the passage of the landmark 14th Amendment. It certainly does mean in no way, for or matter the 149th celebration away from human bondage for Black Americans. This day in United States black history, where our black history need not ever be a black mystery.