“All men are created equal”—The phrase is immortalized in the Declaration of Independence, but this “self-evident” truth was far from reality for many Americans, including enslaved people, women, and Indians. Since Jefferson penned those words, Americans have used them to demand change: the end of slavery, the right to vote, fair treatment in the workplace. Some see Barack Obama’s reelection as evidence of the fulfillment of the promise of equality; others see a long way to go. Do the words still inspire? Do they finally ring true today?
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