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"The United States of America," a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," began as a slave society. What can rightly be called the "original sin" slavery has left an indelible imprint on our nation's soul. A terrible price had to be paid, in a tragic, calamitous civil war, before this new democracy could be rid of that most undemocratic institution. But for black Americans the end of slavery was just the beginning of our quest for democratic equality; another century would pass before the nation came to fully embrace that goal. Even now millions of Americans recognizably of African descent languish in societal backwaters. What does this say about our civic culture as we enter a new century?"
Loury, Glenn C. “An American Tragedy: The Legacy of Slavery Lingers in Our Cities' Ghettos.” The Brookings Review, vol. 16, no. 2, 1998,
p. 38., doi:10.2307/20080781.