Voices

Freedom Center Voices

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 12:00am

James Pate: The Ice Cube of Contemporary Art

The morning after the exhibit opening of Kin Killin’ Kin at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, I drove to Dayton, Ohio to gain a deeper understanding of the images from the artist James Pate.  I had no intentions on expressing my thoughts, yet I felt compelled and moved to do so.  Being a child of the Hip Hop generation, I discovered several similarities between Pate and O’Shea Jackson, famously known as Ice Cube.      

Ice Cube is often credited with shaping gangsta’ rap in the 90’s.  Nevertheless, his creative expression reflected the harsh realities occurring in many communities across the country.  I was 16 years-old when Ice Cube released his debut solo album, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. This classic album is laced with ground-level views of urban communities that are vivid, often frightening, revolutionary and very personal.  The most intense and thought provoking track on the album is Endangered Species (Tales from the Darkside), featuring Chuck D from Public Enemy.  This track reflects the social and systemic dysfunction that lead to homicides and the epidemic of gun violence which we still struggle with nearly three decades later.       

James Pate was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but raised in Cincinnati, Ohio where he attended the School for the Creative and Performing Arts. During his senior year he earned a scholarship to attend the Art Academy through a Corbett Award. Pate’s art education is mostly contributed to discipline, dedication, and consistent projects that refined his skills. Pate’s work has been exhibited in a number of select galleries and museums. Widely known for his idiosyncratic Techno-Cubism style which fuses realism with spatial abstraction.  Like Ice Cube, James is using his artistic abilities to address the consequences of gun violence.  And like Ice Cube, he’s unapologetic about his bold reflections of street violence and he’s very deliberate in making the viewer uncomfortable.  In the original 13 images of the Kin Killin Kin series reveal 26 guns and 38 isolated bullets.  The volume of guns and bullets are in conjunction of the volume of lives lost to gun violence.  Pate’s work is a self-described tantrum that reflect his love, concern and frustration.    

Ice Cube followed his debut album with works that reflected his genuine anger and scathing commentary about society's ills.  In similar fashion Pate continues to work on pieces that address violence in hope of inspiring us to find productive and sustainable solutions.  The thing I like most about Ice Cube is his storytelling ability and James Pate is comparable in that way in regards to contemporary art.  Every image in the series as a story and a rhythm that triggers an emotion and renders you vulnerable. 

Kin Killin' Kin is open now at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center through Saturday, February 13, 2016.  I encourage everyone to see the amazing artwork of James Pate and be moved to play a positive role in reducing the violence in our communities.        

Chris Miller

Manager of Program Initiatives

Images: Artist James Pate in gallery and Your History

Related Content: Kin Killin’ Kin, Mascots

More Authored by Chris: Artist and Author Speak  

 

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 12:00am

International Human Rights Day: Cincinnati Honors Legacy of Helen Suzman

In honor of International Human Rights Day, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati will host a panel discussion with local women who have played meaningful roles in human rights advocacy today, Thursday, December 10, at 7:00 p.m.

Tonight’s discussion is named in honor of another great freedom fighter and advocate for human rights, Helen Suzman—a Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist and parliamentarian whose public criticism and opposition to the governing National Party’s apartheid policies made her an outsider and target. Suzman continued to speak out against the horrors of apartheid despite continued threats and harassment during her 36 years in parliament (1953-89), working with Nelson Mandela while he was imprisoned on efforts that would aid in garnering support for the victims of apartheid.   

The panel will be moderated by Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp, rabbi and spiritual leader of Tempe Sholom in Amberley Village. Panelists include: Iris Roley, a freedom advocate for 13 years who designed and monitored Cincinnati Police Department reform as project manager for the Cincinnati Black United Front, Jennifer L. Branch, partner in Gerhardstein & Branch, the firm that won the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case, which held that the 14th amendment requires States to license and recognize same-sex marriages,  Dr. Catherine Roma, founder of several choirs including MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir, who has commissioned musical works across the barriers of race, class, sexual orientation, age, and imprisonment and  Marian Spencer, civil rights icon in the Cincinnati community who led the effort to desegregate Coney Island, headed the NAACP, served on Cincinnati Council and was at the forefront of numerous civil rights gains of the past half-century. Click here to RSVP for the evening’s event. Click here to learn more about HUC-JIR’s special exhibit, Helen Suzman: Fighter for Human Rights, on view through January 24.

Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia Johnson, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

Images: Helen Suzman.

Related Content: Kin Killin’ Kin.

More authored by Assia: 150th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment: President Obama Gives Presidential Proclamation, Flame Friday: Artist James Pate, Freedom Center to Host Award-winning Author and Yale University Alumni Jeff Hobbs ThursdayKing Records now a Cincinnati landmarkOn This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 12:00am

150th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment: President Obama Gives Presidential Proclamation

150th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment: President Obama Gives Presidential Proclamation

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, President Obama addressed the nation, calling for Americans "to remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of where they come from, or what they look like, or what their last name is, or what faith they practice."

Additionally, the President noted the progress made in civil rights and emphasized the work to be done that would ensure legal equality for all Americans.  

Presidential Proclamation: 150th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

 

On December 6, 1865, a coalition comprising three-quarters of our Nation's States ratified the 13th Amendment to our Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States and affirming the truth that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. Bringing to a close one of the most painful chapters in our country's history, the Amendment ushered in a new birth of freedom. Today, we celebrate it for the protections it restored and the lives it liberated, and in honor of the millions of slaves who endured brutal violence and daily indignities, we rededicate ourselves to the proposition manifested in its ratification.

 

This Amendment to the Constitution came not only at the culmination of years of Civil War, but also as a result of courageous individuals advocating and agitating for an America in which slavery was no longer an institution of society. President Lincoln gave his last full measure of devotion to the cause he would not live to see codified. He knew the basic rights he sought for slaves could only be secured by a whole and unified Government, and he pursued reconciliation while remaining fierce in his conviction. Volunteers along the Underground Railroad aided slaves seeking freedom, providing safety and comfort in the midst of deep anguish. And soldiers who fought, sometimes against their own sisters and brothers, did so for both the preservation of our Union and liberty itself. The 13th Amendment was the product of generations of men and women who, through centuries of bloodshed and systemic oppression, stayed true to their belief in what America could be and kept marching toward justice.

 

The courage to change that sustained the abolitionist movement carried forth in a long line of heroes who followed -- individuals who loved our country profoundly and answered the patriotic call to push it to expand the boundaries of freedom. From ordinary women stepping into an extraordinary role, bravely fighting for their right to participate in our democracy, to a coalition of conscience that marched on our Nation's Capital and protested for equality, the last century and a half has been defined by those who stood resolute in keeping lit the flame that burned in the hearts of all those determined to secure what they knew to be their God-given rights.

 

Today, we continue the long journey toward an America and a world where liberty and equality are not reserved for some, but extended to all. Across the globe, including right here at home, millions of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. We remain committed to abolishing slavery in all its forms and draw strength from the courage and resolve of generations past.

 

One hundred and fifty years after the 13th Amendment's ratification, the United States endures, and though the scourge of slavery is a stain on our history, we remain a people not trapped by the mistakes of our past, but one that can look at our imperfections with humility and decide it is within our power to remake our Nation to more closely align with our highest ideals. On this historic occasion, let us pay tribute to those who suffered for too long and to those who risked everything to make this country better. With unyielding determination to stand on their shoulders and reach for an even freer and more equal tomorrow, we can honor them with the recognition and respect worthy of their extraordinary contributions to our country.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 6, 2015, as the 150th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate the 13th Amendment.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Click here to listen to the President’s speech. Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

Assia Johnson, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

Images: President Obama speaks in Emancipation Hall on Capitol Hill Wednesday during a commemoration ceremony for the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which abolished slavery in the U.S./ USA TODAY

 

Related Content: The Thirteenth Amendment, Kin Killin’ Kin.

More authored by Assia: Flame Friday: Artist James Pate, Freedom Center to Host Award-winning Author and Yale University Alumni Jeff Hobbs ThursdayKing Records now a Cincinnati landmarkOn This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 12:00am

Freedom Center to Host Pulitzer Prize–Winning Historian Eric Foner Next Week

Next Tuesday, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will host Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University Eric Foner December 1 at 6 p.m., where he will discuss his latest work, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad. Foner’s lecture is the second lecture in the John and Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series—a series connecting the public with award-winning authors, historians and thought-leaders, discussing themes on history, race, culture and modern abolition.

Building on fresh evidence, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad elevates the Underground Railroad from folklore to sweeping history. Foner’s work is inspiring―full of memorable characters making their first appearance on the historical stage―and significant―the controversy over fugitive slaves inflamed the sectional crisis of the 1850s. It eventually took a civil war to destroy American slavery, but here at last is the story of the courageous effort to fight slavery by "practical abolition," person by person, family by family

Dr. Battle, executive vice president and provost of the NURFC commented on Foner’s visit to the Freedom Center and the Queen City, “Eric Foner is inarguably one of our nation’s most prominent historians. We encourage the community to join us for what promises to be an evening of insight on a topic where the line between fact and folklore are often blurred—the Underground Railroad.”


In addition to Eric Foner’s lecture on December 1, the public will have the opportunity to hear from Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Trinity College, Christopher Hagar January 13, 2016 and novelist and essayist, Marilynne Robinson on March 16, 2016. The lecture is open to the public and tickets can be purchased here in advance or at the door.
 

Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia Johnson, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

Images:Cover image of Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad  and historian Eric Foner.

Related Content: John and Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series: Marilynne Robinson, Kin Killin’ Kin.

More authored by Assia: Flame Friday: Artist James Pate, Freedom Center to Host Award-winning Author and Yale University Alumni Jeff Hobbs ThursdayKing Records now a Cincinnati landmarkOn This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015 - 12:00am

Flame Friday: Artist James Pate

Happy Flame Friday! This week, we’re featuring local artist and Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts alumni James Pate. His series Kin Killin’ Kin, opening tomorrow at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, is a striking visual experience exploring youth violence in inner city communities.  

“I was moved to use art as a means of illustrating this tragedy; complete with black brothers in pointed hoods creating acts of violence in the ‘hood,’" said James of his series. "Every piece that I complete is a way of accepting some of the responsibility for these acts of violence. Every piece is a moment of silence and dedication to the people who have had to deal personally with our losses.” 

Pate’s self-described “Techo-Cubist” style uses charcoal coupled with techniques of illusion, shadow, juxtaposition, shape and perspectives. The concept of visually comparing modern day youth violence to Ku Klux Klan terrorism was sparked from ongoing conversations within the Black community, calling out the similarities between gang violence and the terrorism inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan. By combining the iconography of the Ku Klux Klan, the Civil Rights Movement and all too familiar images of gang violence, Pate places the viewer inside the acts and the conversation, demanding their attention and reflection on the challenges, causes and insidious nature of violence.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center vice president and provost Dr. Battle is looking forward to the response from the community, “We welcome the community to join us in constructive dialogue about youth violence-- a subject that is affecting communities across the nation. It is our responsibility as a national museum of conscious to present difficult stories that must be told in order to inspire action that will lead to positive change here in Cincinnati and across the country.”

The opening program for Kin Killin’ Kin  will take place this Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 a.m. in the Everyday Freedom Heroes Gallery and will feature remarks from NURFC president Dr. C.G. Newsome; James Pilcher, Cincinnati Enquirer; Anthony Stringer, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio; and Artist James Pate.  The exhibit is included with museum admission and is curated by Willis Bing Davis Shango: Center for the Study of African American Art & Culture.

Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia Johnson, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

Images: Artist James Pate in gallery at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

Related Content: Kin Killin’ KinPower of the Vote.

More authored by Assia: Freedom Center to Host Award-winning Author and Yale University Alumni Jeff Hobbs ThursdayKing Records now a Cincinnati landmarkOn This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 12:00am

Ohio Civil Rights Commission Honors Ohioans Who Furthered Civil and Human Rights

This week, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center staff attended the seventh annual Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. The Hall of Fame was created by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, in order to “acknowledge the citizens who have left their mark in the State of Ohio through their tireless efforts in furthering civil and human rights in their communities.”

This year’s inductees included founder of the Columbus Urban League, Nimrod B. Allen, founding member of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, Nirmal K. Sinha, Cincinnati philanthropists Schuyler and Merri Gaither Smith and member of the US House of Representatives, Louis Stokes. Attendees from across the state gathered as their peers in civil rights received recognition for their great service, including fellow Hall of Famers, Judge Nathaniel Jones and Dr. Marian Spencer.

Dr. Sean Decatur, 19th president of Kenyon college and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Oberlin College, served as keynote speaker, where he thanked “those that opened the door” for him and continued to inspire greatness in others through their legacies. Decatur emphasized his responsibility as an educator and the duties of an educated society by recalling a passage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, The Three Dimensions Of A Complete Life, in which King stressed that length, breadth and height are equal components of a complete life:

“And there are three dimensions of any complete life to which we can fitly give the words of this text: length, breadth, and height.  Now the length of life as we shall use it here is the inward concern for one’s own welfare. In other words, it is that inward concern that causes one to push forward, to achieve his goals and ambitions. The breadth of life as we shall use it here is the outward concern for the welfare of others. And the height of life is the upward reach for God. Now you got to have all three of these to have a complete life… When you get all three of these working together, you will do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

Click here to read King’s full speech. Read the full list of Hall of Fame inductees here. Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia Johnson

Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

 

Images: Dr. Sean Decatur addressing a captive audience at the Ohio Statehouse and Schuyler and Merri Gaither Smith with Civil Rights Commission chair Leonard Hubert.

 

Related Content: Kin Killin’ KinPower of the Vote.

 

More authored by Assia:Freedom Center to Host Award-winning Author and Yale University Alumni Jeff Hobbs ThursdayKing Records now a Cincinnati landmark, On This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 4:53pm

King Records now a Cincinnati landmark

Last week, the unofficial national musical treasure, King Records, was named a historic landmark of the City of Cincinnati. The now legendary music recording complex, located on Brewster Ave. in the Evanston neighborhood, was one of the most influential recording labels of the 1940s and 1950s and would become the nation’s sixth largest record company. 

King Records was founded by Syd Nathan in 1943 and specialized in country music, advertising itself as “hillbilly music.” The company soon branched out into “race records” on a separate label aptly named Queen Records, which greatly outpaced sales of the main label. Within two years, Queen Records was absorbed into the main label, where the new King Records would go on to boast a diverse catalog of artists in multiple genres including, James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Ike Turner, Hank Ballard, Otis Redding, John Lee Hooker and Lavern Baker.

This November, Cincinnati voters will have the opportunity to vote on a parks levy that will help restore and preserve many parks and public sites, including King Records. During the council meeting, Councilman Wendell Young fondly recalled growing up in Cincinnati with King records, “Very often as a kid, I saw many of these artists and I took them for granted,” Young said. “If you live around it, you don’t often appreciate it until something drastic happens.”

Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia M. Johnson
Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

 

Image: Steve Halper/New York Times.

Related Content: Picture FreedomPower of the Vote.

More authored by Assia: On This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015 - 12:00am

Freedom Center to Host Award-winning Author and Yale University Alumni Jeff Hobbs Thursday

This Thursday, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will host award-winning author and Yale University alumni Jeff Hobbs at 6 p.m. in the Harriet Tubman Theater, where he will discuss his latest work, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League. Hobbs’ lecture is the first lecture in the John and Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series—a new series connecting the public with award-winning authors, historians and thought-leaders, discussing themes on history, race, culture and modern abolition.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League reveals the story of Hobbs’ college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Through an honest rendering of Robert’s relationships, Hobbs' compelling recounting of events encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship and love.

The lecture series in presented in part by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and sponsored by John and Francie Pepper. In addition to Jeff Hobbs’ lecture on October 15, the public will have the opportunity to hear from three notable authors including; historian Eric Foner on December 1, 2015, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Trinity College, Christopher Hagar January 13, 2016 and novelist and essayist, Marilynne Robinson on March 16, 2016. Click here for ticket information.

Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter and on Facebook, for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia Johnson
Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

 

Images: Cover image and author headshot.

Related Content: Picture FreedomPower of the Vote.

More authored by Assia: King Records now a Cincinnati landmark, On This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation ProclamationConnect with History Labor Day Weekend50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 10:25am

Connecting Art with History: The Freedom Center Team Visits the Contemporary Art Center

This past Monday was our first ever all staff visit to the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC).  At the insistence of our President, Dr. CG Newsome, we were there to experience Titus Kaphar’s The Vesper Project and we were not disappointed.

 

The Vesper Project is made up of several large installations, a few photographs and then an additional drawing series called the Jerome Project. The large installations caught the initial attraction of my group because they are slightly interactive. You are invited to walk through a refabricated 19th century home, look through a window to an unusual portrait on the opposite wall and walk around a wall of objects that provokes many thoughts. The Vesper Project is based upon a fictional 19th century African American family who had been passing as white until their youngest daughter outs them as black. To be afforded certain luxuries and rights in life and then for those to be taken away because of your skin color, something unchangeable, is a devastating blow to this fictional family, but not so far removed from the lived realities of people that have “passed” throughout history. The home in the exhibit, as well as the supplementary surrounding structures, invite the viewer into the mind of the patriarch of a family whose whole world is falling apart as he deals with ideas of loss, identity, memory, history and family.  It is not a coincidence that these are some of the same concepts that we discuss daily, here at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

 

 

Revelations spread through our tour group at the realization that contemporary art and history do not have to operate individually but that they can both speak to one another and provide a chance for meaningful dialogue through diverse modes of presentation. Looking at the art of Titus Kaphar helped us to have conversations about what it means to not know your family’s history or to have a history or story ripped away from you. Being in the galleries of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center helps us have conversations about what it meant to be taken away from your family and sold into slavery and what exactly a “black identity” was and is today. Essentially, we are asking and answering the same questions through different but equally important lenses. Through our visit to the CAC, we were inspired to have more collaborative interactions with the other cultural arts organizations in our city because we can support the same kinds of conversations and important dialogue even though our presentation styles may be different. This united front on our part, creates a more powerful impact on visitors that can encourage conversations not only within the Freedom Center and the CAC, but beyond the walls of either institution and into the community where conversations turn into instruments of change.

 

Brittany Vernon

IMLS Coca Cola Museum Studies Apprentice

Related Content: Mascots, Kin Killin' Kin

Images from top to bottom: Image of artist, Titus Kaphar, Detail image of The Vesper Project instillation inside CAC and Freedom Center Team on tour at the CAC.

Be sure to follow the Youth Docents on Twitter, @FCYouthDocents! Click here to learn more about the Youth Docent Program at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and how to apply. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 12:00am

On This Day in History: The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

On this day in 1862, the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, stating that “if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states would be free.”  The Confederate Army did not concede and three months later, on the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

The Beginning of Social Justice, Cynthia H. Catlin from And Still We Rise.

When the Civil War began in 1861, President Lincoln sought to preserve the Union rather than end the system of enslavement. Lincoln knew that neither the Union nor the Border States would support abolition as a final outcome, however, by mid-1862, the President was convinced that abolition was the correct military and moral strategy. To solve this dilemma, in early 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was issued but it only freed enslaved persons in states that had already seceded from the Union. At the time, it was thought of as an effective war measure that would cripple the Confederacy, which had used enslaved laborers to support the Confederate Army. However, the Emancipation also set the stage for conversations on the future of human bondage in the United States and would dramatically alter the lives of African Americans once the Civil War ended.

This week, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center president Dr. C.G. Newsome and associate professor of history at Northern Kentucky University Dr. Eric Jackson discussed the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and the Emancipation Proclamation on WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition, highlighting both documents’ place next to America’s founding documents. You can listen to the full episode here.  The Emancipation Proclamation is on display now through August 2016, click here to plan your visit.

Want the latest on upcoming special exhibitions, events and programs?  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @FreedomCenter, and on Facebook for more historical posts and images. 

 

Assia Johnson
Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator 

 

Related Content: Picture FreedomPower of the Vote.

More authored by Assia:  Connect with History Labor Day Weekend, 50 Years Later: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,  50 Midwest Museums We LoveMother's Day Gift IdeasFlame FridayJimmie Lee JacksonMLK Day 2015

 

Pages