(From the Houston Chronicle):

By Kyle Scott

“I am a man!” was a declaration against oppression used by civil rights activists in the South during the 1960’s.

It was a response to the question raised in the Dred Scott case of whether a black person was recognized as a person under the U.S. Constitution.

What the Dred Scott ruling decided was that those of African heritage were not considered people under the U.S. Constitution simply because of the color of their skin.

During the pre-Civil Rights Era, a person could be deprived of legal protection simply because of their race. That is, race was all encompassing and no other characteristic mattered. READ MORE HERE