Philippe Copeland, writing at Good.is:
I wonder what those newly emancipated Africans in 1865 Texas would think if they could travel through time to 2013? What would they make of a supposedly post-Emancipation America where there are more blacks in prison or jail, on probation, or on parole than were enslaved in 1850? Or that more black men are legally denied the right to vote because of felon disenfranchisement laws, than in 1870, when the 15th Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that deny the right to vote on the basis of race? How would they make sense of the fact that such things remain true even 50 years after many of their descendents faced bullets, bombs, water hoses, and dogs to secure civil rights that remained unprotected after the Civil War? A black felon living today can rightly ask how we can celebrate “emancipation” under such circumstances.
An excellent piece and a must-read on this historic anniversary.