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.
 

  • November 18-23, 2014
    151st North Carolina Annual Conference
    York Memorial AME Zion, Host Church
    201 Tyson Street, Greenville, NC
    Bishop W. Darin Moore, Presiding Prelate
    Rev. D'Andre W. J. Daniels, Host Pastor
  • November 19-23, 2014
    West Alabama Annual Conference
    Small Memorial AME Zion Church
    19 County Road 21
    Demopolis, AL 36732
    Rev.Linda Hollinger, Host Pastor
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  • November 27, 2014
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Psalms 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
  • November 2014
    Founder's Day
    The Young Adult Missionary Society Annual Observance, shall be celebrated to recognize Dr. Willa Mae Rice as the Founder and Dr. Adlise Ivey Porter as the Organizing Coordinator.
  • December 7, 2014
    World Hunger Sunday
    Women's Home & Overseas Missionary Society
    Three decades ago, the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society accepted World Hunger as an annual mission challenge under the presidency of Mrs. Alcestis M. Coleman.  December 6, 1982 was designated as the first World Hunger Sunday and, thereafter, missionaries throughout our denomination observe World Hunger Day.
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  • December 25, 2014
    Merry Christmas
    Matthew 1:21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
  • January 1, 2015
    Happy New Year
    Proverbs 19:21
    Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's the Lord's purpose that prevails.
  • January 4-10, 2015
    Spiritual Emphasis Week
    “A Week of Prayer, Praise, and Proclamation”
    Theme: "Teaching Believers to Obey Christ's Commands"
    The Important Lessons from the Gospel of St. John
    Scripture: John 13-17
    Sponsored by:
    The Department of Church Growth & Development
    Evangelism-Home Mission-Church Extension
    African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
    Charlotte NC
    Dr. Otis T. McMillan, General Secretary Director
    visit: www.beamez.org for additional information
  • January 11, 2015
    Victory Day
    Women's Home & Overseas Missionary Society
    Observe the birthday of Miss Victoria Richardson, the first Secretary of the Youth Missionary Society. This program is developed by the General Secretary, Youth Missionaries.
  • January 18-25, 2015
    The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
    Theme: 1 Corinthians 1:1-17 Has Christ been divided?
  • January 19, 2015
    Martin Luther King Day
    A Federal Holiday held on the third Monday of January which celebrates the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • January 25, 2015
    Marie L. Clinton Day
    Women's Home & Overseas Missionary Society
    Celebrate the life of Marie L. Clinton, founder of the Buds of Promise Juvenile Missionary Society. This program is developed by the General Superintendent of the Buds of Promise.
  • February 2015
    Black History Month
    Theme: Civil Rights In America
    The theme for Black History Month in 2015 is "A Century of Black Life, History and Culture"
  • February 8, 2015
    Second Mile Observances
    Mary Gaither Meeks Agape Luncheon
    Agape Sunday
    Promotes the "Second Mile Offering" and undergirds home and overseas missions. The program is developed by the First Vice President.

  • February 14, 2015
    Happy Valentine's Day

    Mark 12:31
    The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
  • March 2015
    Women's History Month
    Americans observe this month and celebrate International Women's Day on March 8, 2014, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. Also visit www.WomensHistoryMonth.gov to learn more about the generations of women who have left enduring imprints on our history.
  • March 29, 2015
    Palm Sunday
    We remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. This day is also on the Sunday before Easter Sunday.
  • April 3, 2015
    Good Friday
    Good Friday is the day when we commemorate Jesus Christ's crucifixion, which plays an important part in the Christian faith.
  • April 5, 2015
    Easter Sunday

    The celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    He Lives!

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