The Citizenship Clause declared that everyone born on American soil is a citizen of the United States—regardless of race, color, or parental origin. This provision overturned Dred Scott (1857) and ended a decades-long debate about whether free African Americans were American citizens. Finally, African Americans born on American soil could lay claim to the promise of equal citizenship.

May 28, 1866
Howard proposes a citizenship clause

All persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside. . . No person shall . . . hold any office . . . who, having previously taken an oath . . . to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same. . . The obligations of the United States incurred in suppressing insurrection, or in defense of the Union or for payment of bounties or pensions incident thereto, shall remain inviolate.

Jun 12, 1866
14th Amendment Final Text

Section One: All persons born or naturalized in the United States . . . are citizens of the United States. 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 Two: Representatives shall be apportioned . . . Section Three: No person shall . . . hold any office . . . Section Four: The validity of the public debt . . . Section Five: The Congress shall have power to enforce.