Hidden Within the 13th
One word killed the Eric Garners and George Floyds of America.
One word deprived them of life and happiness.
One word hinders African Americans from the sweet joy of liberty.
One word denies us our equality.
One word allows injustices to go unchecked.
One word permits the violation of our rights.
One word created mass incarceration.
One word killed the Sandra Blands and Breonna Taylors of America.
One word will keep black lives inferior.
The word… “except.”
[Proposed by Congress Jan. 31 1865, ratified Dec. 6 1865]
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.
“I will never forget what a great shock this was to me, here, for the first time, I was made aware of the existence of a race problem.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968
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