How was slavery abolished in the US and how were freedom and equality realized for African Americans?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Slavery was officially abolished in the U.S. by the 13th Amendment following the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation as the country was approaching the third year of the war. The statement declared freedom for slaves held in the secessionist states, however, not much was mentioned about slaves in other areas. The statement had some effect on slavery, but it was not enough to end the practice. The President, reconciled, that to completely abolish slavery, amendments to the constitution were necessary. Thus, he rallied support for the 13th amendment, which passed in the Senate at the end of the Civil War in 1864. A year later, and after much lobbying among House representative, the amendment passed in Congress. The constitutional amendment, extended basic civil rights to the slaves, however, more work was required to protect and expand the rights while addressing discrimination. The situation saw the emergence of a strong civil rights movement that staged mass protests to assert the need for freedom, equality and the end of racial oppression.