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African American dress intertwines with the history of Africans, who arrived in the Virginia colony in 1619. Within that century, southern codes forced the children of any enslaved woman to remain enslaved for life. West Africans continued to come unwillingly until the 1830s. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the emancipation of all enslaved peoples in 1863; but after the Civil War, African Americans lived on the margins of American society with poor jobs, substandard living and educational conditions, disenfranchisement, and public segregation. Nearly one hundred years later, in 1954, a Supreme Court decision began the desegregation process and in the 1960s, Federal legislation gave equal rights to African Americans. Continue reading