After slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment, many states - north and south - still denied rights to former slaves and other folks.
The 14th Amendment ordered the states to cut the crap. It says most rights provided by the Federal government must also be provided by the states.
The 14th Amendment explains you're a U.S. citizen if you're born
here. If you're foreign born, you can qualify and be sworn in as a "naturalized" citizen. Some 700,000 immigrants took the oath in each of the last few years.
As a U.S. citizen, you're a citizen of any state you choose to live in and enjoy "equal protection" of its laws.
The 14th Amendment is often cited by the Supreme Court. It ruled that "separate but equal" schools for whites and blacks are unconstitutional.
In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to protect the first black children attending all-white schools.
Groups like ethnic minorities, women, religious sects, fraternity pledges, mimes and Americans with disabilities are also protected.