NYC CELEBRATES THE FIRST OFFICIAL OBSERVANCE OF THREE-FIFTH CLAUSE AWARENESS DAY
The City of New York observed for the first time “Three-Fifth Clause Awareness Day on Sunday, March 5th” with a special program that took place at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, Manhattan.
This FREE event included Rob Nelson, weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter at WABC-TV, who will moderate a panel discussion with Dominic Carter, political commentator for Verizon Fios/RNN News; Bertha Lewis, Founder and CEO of Black Institute and Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Muhammad of Mosque # 7, New York City; Arthur Cheliotes, president, Communications Workers of America Local 1180; and Gabriel J. Christian, Esq., Law Firm of Gabriel J. Christian & Associates, LLC.
The Three-Fifth Clause (Article 1, Section2, of the U.S. Constitution of 1787) was demanded by Southern supporters of slavery as a way of increasing their congressional representation and political power. They wanted slaves to be counted as full persons but settled on three-fifths. People of African descent would have had no real rights either way. The three-fifths clause was enforced until the post-Civil War 13th Amendment freed all enslaved people in the United States, the 14th amendment gave them full citizenship, and the 15th Amendment granted black people the right to vote. However, the “three-fifth clause” language was never removed from the Constitution.
Last year, Council Member Andy King introduced legislations in the City Council calling on the federal government to add an amendment to add language that directly negates the Three-Fifth Clause by stating that African-Americans are 100 percent whole individuals and declare March 5th as “Three Fifth Clause Awareness Day” in New York City. The New York City Council unanimously passed both legislations and March 5, 2017, begins the official observance of “Three Fifth Clause Awareness Day” in New York City.