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.
 

  • February 2016
    Black History Month
    Black History Month is a month set aside to learn honor and celebrate the achievements of African Americans through history.
    2016 Theme: Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memory

  • February 5, 2016
    American Heart Association
    National Wear Red Day!
    raises public awareness of heart disease in women and ways to avoid and combat this problem.

  • February 10, 2016
    Endowment Convocation for Hood Theological Seminary
    1810 Lutheran Synod Drive
    Salisbury, NC 28144
  • February 10, 2016
    Ash Wednesday
    Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lenten discipline.
  • February 11, 2016
    Livingstone College Founder's Day Convocation
    10:00am
    701 West Monroe Street
    Salisbury, NC 28144
  • February 14, 2016
    Happy Valentine's Day

    Mark 12:31
    The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
  • February 16-19, 2016
    Board of Bishops Winter Meeting

    Host: South Atlantic Episcopal District
    The Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center
    745 Saluda Street
    Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • March 5, 2016
    Blue Ridge Conference
    3rd Check-Up Meeting
    Dorothy Walls Conference and Retreat Center
    495 Cragmont Rd
    Black Mountain, NC 28711
  • March 11, 2016
    West Central North Carolina Conference
    Ordination Service
    Marvin AME Zion Church
  • March 12, 2016
    West Central North Carolina Conference
    3rd Check-up Meeting
    Dorothy Walls Conference and Retreat Center
    Marvin AME Zion Church
    Rev. Dr. Haven O. Anderson, Pastor
  • March 17 - 19, 2016
    Connectional Lay Council Convocation
    Bishop Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center
    Rock Hill, SC
    Mrs. Mary Matthews, President
  • March 25, 2016
    Good Friday
    Good Friday is the day when we commemorate Jesus Christ's crucifixion, which plays an important part in the Christian faith.
  • March 27, 2016
    Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday

    The celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    He Lives!
  • March 28, 2016
    Happy Birthday
    Mrs. Iris Battle
    Piedmont Episcopal District

  • April 9, 2016
    Western North Carolina Conference
    Ordination Service
    Goler Metropolitan A. M. E. Zion Church
    Rev. Johnny Ruff, Pastor
  • April 10, 2016
    Western North Carolina Conference
    3rd Check Up Meeting
    Goler Metropolitan A. M.  E. Zion Church
  • April 15, 2016
    Tax Day
    Many United States residents mark Tax Day as the deadline to file their income tax details to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The date is usually on or around April 15.
  • April 16, 2016
    Western North Carolina Conference
    Christian Education Annual Cotillion
    North Rowan High School
    Spencer, NC
    Rev. David Williams, Conference Director
  • April 15 - 16, 2016
    Men’s Boosters Conference
    Place to be announced
    Mr. Sylvester Culbertson, President
  • April 17, 2016
    7th Annual Pink Sunday
    Susan G Komen
    Participation in Pink Sunday provides churches and faith based organizations with free breast cancer awareness information to include warning signs of breast cancer, importance of early detection and availability of free mammograms for those without health insurance. The 7th Annual Pink Sunday will be on April 17, 2016. Many churches ask their congregations to wear pink on this day. VISIT www.komencharlotte.org to register your church for this event or for additional information.

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