February 1 is National Freedom Day, celebrating the day Abraham Lincoln signed the resolution that would become the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The wording is simple:
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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
While the Amendment formally ended slavery, it did not end discrimination nor universally change what is in people’s hearts. It did, however, shine a light on injustice.
Each of us has some bias in our hearts — bias that is most often rooted in fear. It is up to us to evaluate our bias to better understand it and deal with it in ways that are not harmful to others. We must do our best not to live in divisive fear but in unifying love.