At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington
The year 2013 marks two important anniversaries in the history of African Americans and the United States. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation set the United States on the path of ending slavery. A wartime measure issued by President Abraham Lincoln, the proclamation freed relatively few slaves, but it fueled the fire of the enslaved to strike for their freedom. In many respects, Lincoln’s declaration simply acknowledged the epidemic of black self-emancipation – spread by black freedom crusaders like Harriet Tubman – that already had commenced beyond his control. Those in bondage increasingly streamed into the camps of the Union Army, reclaiming and asserting self-determination. The result, abolitionist Fredrick Douglass predicted, was that the war for the Union became a war against slavery. The actions of both Lincoln and the slaves made clear that the Civil War was in deed, as well as in theory, a struggle between the forces of slavery and emancipation. The full-scale dismantlement of the “peculiar institution” of human bondage had begun.

In 1963, a century later, America once again stood at the crossroads. Nine years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court had outlawed racial segregation in public schools, but the nation had not yet committed itself to equality of citizenship. Segregation and innumerable other forms of discrimination made second‐class citizenship the extra‐constitutional status of non‐whites. Another American president caught in the gale of racial change, John F. Kennedy, temporized over the legal and moral issue of his time. Like Lincoln before him, national concerns, and the growing momentum of black mass mobilization efforts, overrode his personal ambivalence toward demands for black civil rights.

On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, blacks and whites, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, marched to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, in the continuing pursuit of equality of citizenship and self-determination. It was on this occasion that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech.

Just as the Emancipation Proclamation had recognized the coming end of slavery, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom announced that the days of legal segregation in the United States were numbered.

Marking the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History invites papers, panels, and roundtables on these and related topics of black emancipation, freedom, justice and equality, and the movements that have sought to achieve these goals. Submissions may focus on the historical periods tied to the 2013 theme, their precursors and successors, and other past and contemporary moments across the breadth of African American history.

Courtesy of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History at www.asalh.org.
 

  • August 7-10, 2014
    Alaska Annual Conference
    Leake Temple AME Zion Church
    430 North Hoyt Street
    Anchorage, AK 99508
    Presiding Elder Alphonso H. Meadows Jr., Pastor
  • August 20-24, 2014
    Mid Ghana Annual Conference
  • August 21, 2014
    Senior Citizens Day
    National Senior Citizens Day recognizes contributions senior citizens make in communities across the United States.
  • August 27-31, 2014
    East Ghana Annual Conference
  • September 1, 2014
    Labor Day
    Labor Day was originally organized to celebrate various labor associations' strengths of and contributions to the United States economy. It is largely a day of rest in modern times. Many people mark Labor Day as the end of the summer season and a last chance to make trips or hold outdoor events.
  • September 3-7, 2014
    145th Florida Annual Conference
    St. Paul AME Zion Church, Host Chuch
    Convening: Houser Memorial AME Zion Church
    710 East Jordan Street
    Penascola, FL 32503
    850-432-4910
    Rev. Ray S. White, Host Pastor
    850-232-7006
  • September 3-7, 2014
    West Ghana Annual Conference
  • September 7, 2014
    Grandparents` Day
    Día Nacional de los Abuelos
    Americans take the time to honor their own grandparents and those in their community.
  • September 7-9, 2014
    North Carolina Conference
    New Bern District
    St. Augustus A.M.E. Zion Church
    318 East North Street, Kinston, NC
    Rev. Julian Pridgen, Pastor
  • September 10-14, 2014
    North Alabama Annual Conference
    One Zion Ame Zion Church, Host Church
    100 Red Lane Road,
    Birmingham, AL 35215
    205-833-3313
    Rev. Erskine R. Faush, Jr., Host Pastor
    205-790-2574
  • September 11-14, 2014
    Cote D'Ivoire Annual Conference
  • September 28, 2014
    Overseas Mission Sunday
    As a symbol of unity, all women of the A.M.E. Zion Church are requested to wear white.
    Visit www.whoms.org for information concerning this observance.

  • October 5, 2014
    World Communion Sunday
    World Communion Sunday is a celebration observed by several Christian denominations, that promotes Christian unity and ecumenical cooperation.
  • October 8-12, 2014
    South Alabama Annual Conference
    Mt. Zion AME Zion Church, Host Church
    Convening: Lomax-Hannon Jr. College
    725 Conecuh Street
    Greenville, AL 36037
    334-382-2115
    Rev. Robert Shuford, Host Pastor
    334-567-4733

  • October 15-19, 2014
    Central Alabama Annual Conference
    Shiloh AME Zion Church
    54 Church Street
    Hope Hull, AL 36044
    334-281-4500
    Rev. Ron Burroughs, Host Pastor
    334-284-9888
  • October 16, 2014
    Boss's Day
    Boss's Day also known as National Boss Day or Bosses Day, is a time for many workers to appreciate their employers.
  • October 21-26, 2014
    103rd Cape Fear Annual Conference
    Chrysolite AME Zion Church, Host Church
    1307 Meadow Road, Lumberton NC 910 671 8874
    Bishop Louis Hunter, Sr. Presiding Prelate
    Rev. Florence S. Brown, Host Pastor
  • October 22-26, 2014
    Alabama Annual Conference
    Auburn AME Zion Church
    576 Martin Luther King Drive
    Auburn, AL 36831
    Rev. Dr. Stephen Faulk, Host Pastor
    706-596-6797
  • October 22-26, 2014
    South Mississippi Annual Conference
    Host Church: Zion Chapel AME Zion
    361 Robinson Road
    Canton, MS 39046
    Host Pastor: Rev. G. D. Adams
  • October 2014
    Life Members Month
    On this occasion, programs shall be observed in memory of Anna L. Anderson and each member of the Society is asked to contribute five dollars ($5.00) to the Council.

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