President Lincoln

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Emancipation Proclamation and our collective history

 

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator

 

The Emancipation Proclamation, which set our nation on the path to the end of slavery, was signed 150 years ago this month. This year, we should resolve to teach our children the story of our collective history. The past century and a half offers countless tales of bravery and sacrifice to inspire the next generation. Only by sharing our history will we be able to continue our progress over the next 150 years. President Lincoln’s wartime proclamation in 1863 read that “all persons held as slaves” in rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” This was a noble idea and certainly a brave gesture. Continue Reading →

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Fragments of the Ark: Civil War saga tells of Black soldiers and survivors

 

 

Gifted novelist Louise Meriweather followed Daddy Was a Number Runner with Fragments of the Ark (Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster) a fascinating work of “faction” — well-crafted, fictional characters in an exciting tale steeped in a setting of historic fact. It’s something of, as it were, a blast from the past, having been published in 1994. Nonetheless, this is fluid, image-rich writing, capturing the African American aesthetic with strength and an expert grasp of Black culture circa the Civil War. A perfect companion for idle hours, the book is an irresistible page-turner. In late fall 1861, true to the war’s timeline, the Union Army — outmaneuvered and outmanned — is catching hell from the Confederacy, which, aided by the British, are not far from completely turning the tide inexorably toward triumph. Continue Reading →

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