To be free in America means for all citizens in America to be treated equally. This can be seen in Document A which is part of the amendments. In this Document it shows what some of the amendments were and it says, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duty convicted… All persons born or naturalized in the United States… are citizens of the United States… 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.” This shows that all citizens in America should be treated equally because it talks about how all citizens in America should have the right to vote, should only be a slave as a punishment for a crime, and how all people born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and should have the same rights as one another. Another document that shows that the meaning of being American is to be treated equal is Document D. In this document it shows pictures of African Americans who were elected to local and state governments throughout the Southern states during Reconstruction. This document also says, “During Reconstruction, thousands of African Americans were elected to local and state governments throughout the Southern states. In addition, 17 African Americans were elected to the United States Congress from Southern states between 1870 and 1877.” This shows that to be American is to be treated equally because Reconstruction was a period after slavery were America was trying to make it so that everybody in America had equal rights and were treated equally. One way that they tried to do this is by giving African Americans the right to be involved in the government of southern states and the United States Congress. Similarly, contemporary events show that being an American means to be treated equally because in a study conducted by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, it shows that “in 99 percent of neighborhoods in the United States, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys who come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds.” This quotes shows that even though to be American means to be treated equally, some people are not because there are some cases where some races are shown as superior than other races. This is what it means to be an Americanin my opinion.

CC BY-SA 4.0 What It Means To Be American by Khalil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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