The Blues Group
Red Stream

This page will discuss the origin, and history of blues as well as an explanation of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Click the file at the top of the page to get a taste of the blues.

13th Amendment:

Section 1. 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.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


The thirteenth amendment was the first of the reconstructional amendments and officially abolished slavery or involuntary servitude. Except as a punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865.
President Lincoln was concerned that the emancipation proclamation would be looked upon as a temporary thing, because he used his powers during the war to pass it. So the 13th amendment was passed officially to outlaw slavery accept as punishment for a crime.

14th Amendment:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) a ruling was passed that stated blacks could not be citizens of the United States. The Citizenship Clause in this amendment overruled that decision, by giving a very broad definition of citizenship that allowed blacks to be citizens. The Due Process clause prevented from giving a jurisdiction to someone without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. The Equal Protection clause provides equal protection to all people within its jurisdiction.
This amendment was passed on July 9th, 1868, just after the civil war ended to give blacks and former slaves the same rights as everyone else. Before this amendment was passed blacks were not considered full citizens, and the justice system was not equally fair to everyone because it relied on jury members who could easily be prejudiced, because they didn’t pick them specifically based on how unbiased they were to the case they would be in the jury for.

15th Amendment
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The government can’t stop anybody from voting based on their race, and the Congress can add to the article through legislation. The amendment came into effect on February 3, 1870. In the following years, more African Americans were elected than at any other time in US history. By the time the ratification was complete, the only states that had not yet enforced the law were Nebraska, Texas, New jersey, Delaware, Oregon, California, Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Before this law was ratified, US citizens could be denied the right to vote based on their race or ethnicity. Particularly, those who had previously been slaves were often denied to right to vote, even if they were emancipated. This amendment was the third of the “Reconstruction Amendments,” three amendments all created during the five years following the civil war. These were the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. These three amendments are commonly thought of as some of the most important parts of the effort of turning America into a more free country, one with liberty and true equality.


The History of the Blues:

When you think of the blues, you think about misfortune, betrayal and regret. You lose your job, you get the blues. Your mate falls out of love with you, you get the blues. Your dog dies, you get the blues.
While blues lyrics often deal with personal adversity, the music itself goes far beyond self-pity. The blues is also about overcoming hard luck, saying what you feel, ridding yourself of frustration, letting your hair down, and simply having fun. The best blues is visceral, cathartic, and starkly emotional. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion.
The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history. The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. Its inventors were slaves, ex-slaves and the descendants of slaves - African-American sharecroppers who sang as they toiled in the cotton and vegetable fields. It's generally accepted that the music evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music.
The blues grew up in the Mississippi Delta just upriver from New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. Blues and jazz have always influenced each other, and they still interact in countless ways today.
Unlike jazz, the blues didn't spread out significantly from the South to the Midwest until the 1930s and '40s. Once the Delta blues made their way up the Mississippi to urban areas, the music evolved into electrified Chicago blues, other regional blues styles, and various jazz-blues hybrids. A decade or so later the blues gave birth to rhythm 'n blues and rock 'n roll.

Chord Progressions: What defines a blues song is the way chords are put together, or the chord progression. Although there’s no such thing as a blues chord, if you put certain chords together in a certain way, you can definitely create a blues chord progression. The most common blues progression is the 12-bar blues.