Tag Archives: Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

I AM a MAN … Striking Memphis sanitation workers in 1968 February – April 1968

I Am A Man Ernest C. Withers 22×28″ offset poster ~ Gallery

I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike, Memphis, Tennessee

AFSCME Local 1733 sanitation workers strike in Memphis with National Guard members looking on, 1968. (Date: 1968)

… rights movement are those from the Spring of 1968 as Black sanitation workers went on strike in Memphis, Tennessee holding signs that read “I am a Man …

Civil Rights …  god and nature NOT the government?


…1865 54th anniversary Emancipation Proclamation 1919


1865 tshaonline.org
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JUNETEENTH. On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” The tidings of freedom reached the approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas gradually as individual plantation owners informed their slaves over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African American about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.

The day has been celebrated through formal thanksgiving ceremonies at which the hymn “Lift Every Voice” furnished the opening. In addition, public entertainment, picnics, and family reunions have often featured dramatic readings, pageants, parades, barbecues, and ball games. Blues festivals have also shaped the Juneteenth remembrance. In Limestone County, celebrants gather for a three-day reunion organized by the Nineteenth of June Organization. Some of the early emancipation festivities were relegated by city authorities to a town’s outskirts; in time, however, black groups collected funds to purchase tracts of land for their celebrations, including Juneteenth. A common name for these sites was Emancipation Park. In Houston, for instance, a deed for a ten-acre site was signed in 1872, and in Austin the Travis County Emancipation Celebration Association acquired land for its Emancipation Park in the early 1900s; the Juneteenth event was later moved to Rosewood Park. In Limestone County the Nineteenth of June Association acquired thirty acres, which has since been reduced to twenty acres by the rising of Lake Mexia.

Particular celebrations of Juneteenth have had unique beginnings or aspects. In the state capital Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1867 under the direction of the Freedmen’s Bureau and became part of the calendar of public events by 1872. Juneteenth in Limestone County has gathered “thousands” to be with families and friends. At one time 30,000 blacks gathered at Booker T. Washington Park, known more popularly as Comanche Crossing, for the event. One of the most important parts of the Limestone celebration is the recollection of family history, both under slavery and since. Another of the state’s memorable celebrations of Juneteenth occurred in Brenham, where large, racially mixed crowds witness the annual promenade through town. In Beeville, black, white, and brown residents have also joined together to commemorate the day with barbecue, picnics, and other festivities.

Juneteenth declined in popularity in the early 1960s, when the civil-rights movement, with its push for integration, diminished interest in the event. In the 1970s African Americans’ renewed interest in celebrating their cultural heritage led to the revitalization of the holiday throughout the state. At the end of the decade Representative Al Edwards, a Democrat from Houston, introduced a bill calling for Juneteenth to become a state holiday. The legislature passed the act in 1979, and Governor William P. Clements, Jr., signed it into law. The first state-sponsored Juneteenth celebration took place in 1980.

Juneteenth has also had an impact outside the state. Black Texans who moved to Louisiana and Oklahoma have taken the celebration with them. In 1991 the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution sponsored “Juneteenth ’91, Freedom Revisited,” featuring public speeches, African-American arts and crafts, and other cultural programs. There, as in Texas, the state of its origin, Juneteenth has provided the public the opportunity to recall the milestone in human rights the day represents for African Americans.


Randolph B. Campbell, “The End of Slavery in Texas: A Research Note,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 88 (July 1984). Gregg Cantrell and Elizabeth Hayes Turner, eds., Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2007). Doris Hollis Pemberton, Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. William H. Wiggins, Jr., O Freedom! Afro-American Emancipation Celebrations (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987). David A. Williams, The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Emancipation Proclamation, Texas Style (June 19, 1865) (Austin: Williams Independent Research Enterprises, 1979).

Teresa Palomo Acosta



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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Teresa Palomo Acosta, “Juneteenth,” accessed June 18, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lkj01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 27, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.



15th Amendment ::: SCOTUS

15th Amendment to the Constitution

from the Library of Congress

The first vote drawn by A.R. Waud                        “The                        first vote”                                                   A.R.Waud.                                             Wood engraving.                        1867. Prints & Photographs                Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-19234

The 15th Amendment to the Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means,  Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

American Memory Historical Collections

           The African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920

Includes a pamphlet of Professor J.M. Langston’s oration delivered in 1874 at the 15th     Amendment Celebration held in Oberlin, Ohio.

Search  this collection, using the phrase “15th amendment” or “fifteenth amendment” to find additional newspaper articles and pamphlets on this topic.

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P.Murray Collection, 1818-1907

Edward Morrell, a congressman from Pennsylvania, delivered a speech in 1904 that refutes the argument that African Americans should be deprived of the right to vote. Following his speech are testimonials on both sides of the question,some from men such as Wendell Phillips and James Garfield.

Search in this collection using the words “suffrage”to find additional documents related to African Americans and voting rights.

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

Contains a broadside printed in Connecticut of President Ulysses S. Grant’s message to Congress announcing the ratification of the 15th Amendment.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation

The House of Representatives passed the 15th Amendment on February 25, 1869, by a vote of 144 to 44, and the                          Senate passed the 15th Amendment on February 26, 1869, by a vote of 39 to 13. On March 30, 1870, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish issued a proclamation certifying the ratification of the 15th Amendment by the states.

Search this collection in the 40th Congress using keywords such as “suffrage”, “amendment” and “constitution” to find additional information on the 15th Amendment.  After conducting a search look for references to Senate  Joint Resolution 8, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which is often referred to as S. R. No. 8 or S. R. 8.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1909

In 1872, the Union Congressional Republican Committee published a pamphlet outlining policy differences between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of suffrage for African Americans and the 15th Amendment.

Search this collection using the word “suffrage” to retrieve over twenty documents on this topic.

Chronicling America

The Chronicling America site allows you to search and view newspaper pages  from 1860 to 1922 from the following states: Arizona, California, District of Columbia,                                                                            Florida,                                                                            Hawaii,                                                                            Illinois,                                                                            Kansas,                                                                            Kentucky,                                                                            Louisiana,                                                                            Minnesota,                                                                            Missouri,                                                                            Montana,                                                                            Nebraska, New York,                                                                            Ohio,                                                                            Oklahoma,                                                                            Oregon,                                                                            Pennsylvania, South Carolina,                                                                            Texas, Utah, Virginia,    and Washington.

Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the 15th Amendment.

A selection of articles on the 15th Amendment includes:


African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

This exhibition showcases the African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displays more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps,musical scores, plays, films, and recordings. Contains a section on Reconstruction that  includes a picture from Harper’s Weekly entitled “The First Vote.”

American Treasures of the Library of Congress – The Fifteenth Amendment

Contains a lithograph of a parade in Baltimore, Maryland,celebrating the 15th Amendment on May 19, 1870.

External Web Sites

Black Voting  Rights: The Creation of the Fifteenth Amendment, HarpWeek

Our Documents, 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, National Archives and Records Administration

Selected Bibliography

Darling, Marsha J. Tyson, ed. Race,Voting, Redistricting, and the Constitution: Sources  and Explorations on the Fifteenth Amendment. New York: Routledge. [Catalog Record]

Gillette, William. The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1969. [Catalog Record]

Maltz, Earl M. Civil Rights, the Constitution, and Congress, 1863-1869. Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas,1990. [Catalog Record]

Mathews, John Mabry. Legislative and Judicial History of the Fifteenth Amendment. Union, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange, 2001. [Catalog Record]

Younger Readers

Banfield, Susan. The Fifteenth Amendment:                        African-American Men’s Right to Vote. Springfield, N.J.: Enslow Publishers,1998. [Catalog Record]

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Starbucks, Whole Foods and carbon pollution


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Companies that make a show of corporate responsibility should be leading on palm oil, not lagging behind. Yet Starbucks has stopped at half-measures—relying on a palm oil certification system that still allows for forest clearance rather than pledging to eliminate deforestation entirely and only promising to use deforestation-free palm oil in its company-owned stores.1 Whole Foods promised to switch to deforestation-free palm oil three years ago, but hasn’t hit its targets.2

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Our efforts on palm oil are having a lasting impact on our planet. But it takes resources to organize hundreds of thousands of consumer activists and pressure global corporations to do the right thing. That’s why your gift today is so important.

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I hope you’ll be a part of this truly historic effort. Thanks for your support.

Ken Kimmell Sincerely,
Ken Kimmell
Ken Kimmell
Union of Concerned Scientists




1.  http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2015/03/ucs-palm-oil-scoring-breakdown-2015.pdf, page 83
2.  Ibid
3.  http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/global_warming/palm-oil-and-global-warming.pdf, page 2