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Promises to Keep: African Americans and the Constitutional Order, 1776 to the Present

Donald G. Nieman


This book examines the influence of race in the development of the US Constitution and argues that African Americans have had a powerful influence creating constitutional rights. It examines the debate over slavery in the Revolutionary era and at the Constitutional Convention and how antislavery advocates, black and white, created constitutional ideas that promoted equality, and their role in ending slavery, securing adoption of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and establishing civil rights protections during Reconstruction. By 1900, southern whites had reversed most of th ... More

Keywords: civil rights, slavery, Supreme Court, African Americans, race, racism, constitutional law, civil rights movement, color-blind, segregation, disfranchisement, voting rights

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190071639
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190071639.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Donald G. Nieman, author
Provost, SUNY-Binghamton