Slavery in America began almost four hundred years ago and ended in 1865. The end of slavery did not mean the granting of civil rights to people of African American heritage.For almost a century after the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted, abolishing slavery, they were subject to all forms of abuse from segregation, denial of the right to vote, job restrictions (last hired, first fired), and denied entrance into many public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and colleges. Those facilities granted to them such as schools, housing, and medical treatment were usually inferior to those of non-African Americans. Only in the past fifty years, beginning with the Supreme Court decision ending school segregation and the passage of the Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s, have many of these injustices and abuses been remedied, though not all. "And Be Free" documents changes in the military to show the evolution of civil rights from the time that African American soldiers received only about two-thirds of the pay of white soldiers, until the present, when an African American soldier, Colin Powell, was made head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and another African American, Barack Obama, was elected to the highest office in the land. Also included are various Supreme Court decisions such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, which labeled African Americans as members of "a subordinate and inferior race," the case of Brown v. Board of Education, which outlawed school segregation, and legislation starting with the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 to the Civil Rights Acts enacted almost a century later.