African American's 1865 to Present

African American’s 1865 to Present
For over 500 years, people of African descent have shaped the course of American history.   From the year 1501 to 1865 a total of 12 United States Presidents were slave owners.   The group included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson. President Jefferson and Madison both owned slaves but hoped the institution of slavery would one day die away.   "A general emancipation of slaves ought to be gradual, equitable & satisfactory to the individuals immediately concerned, and consistent with the existing & durable prejudices of the nation," wrote Madison in 1819, after he had left the White House (Warner, 2005).   Other presidents had less compassion for their slaves and ordered them to be whipped and abused.   Abraham Lincoln thought that those who spoke of the benefits of slavery should be subjected to the same treatment in an essence to see how it feels.   Ulysses S. Grant was the last president to own a slave and finally freed his only slave in 1859. African American people had no rights and were subjected to segregation, discrimination, hatred, isolation, and many forms of abuse.   They lacked the freedom and equality that they wanted. However in 1861, they were allowed to fight in the Civil War, but still treated poorly and subjected to segregation and discrimination.   In 1863 President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in states that are in rebellion against the United States. It does not free slaves from states that stayed in the Union.   From slavery to the March on Washington and many other events, African Americans have fought for their rights in United States, and have achieved their identity through many historical movements.
Slavery is officially abolished when Congress passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in January of 1865.   Nearly 4 million freed slaves begin to struggle to make a home for themselves as during this period that begins...