Black Agriculture leaders mark the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and prepare for regional education events that highlight the ongoing journey towards a greater measure of freedom.
Educators, business leaders, government officials and community members will help kick-off the effort to showcase a renaissance of celebrating the emancipation of people of African ancestry enslaved in much the same way that Jewish people celebrate their ancestors’ freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt.
President Barack Obama continues to utilize the lessons of President Abraham Lincoln to keep a nation united 150 years later and bridge the gap by showcasing source documents of our American history.
Former Stockton City Councilman Ralph White suggests that Blacks should emulate Jews, who celebrate Passover to thank God for freeing their ancestors from slave masters, by celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation that began the official journey to free enslaved ancestors from bondage.
"Our kids know about everybody’s freedom such as Cinco De Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day and the parades," White said. "However, Black children don’t know the story about their own freedom and that needs to change."
The kick-off fundraising and ongoing celebrations are set to begin Thursday, September 20, 2012, Queen Sheba Restaurant, 1704 Broadway, Downtown Sacramento, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. and continues Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 1 p.m. inside the California State Capitol, with a public community celebration to begin at 2:00 pm featuring keynote speaker, Dr. John Jackson, President, William Jessup University and intercultural, interfaith and interconnected expressions of freedom.
In 2005, Rev. Bob Hailey, then president of the Stockton chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, hoped the Emancipation Proclamation celebration spreads through the state. "It brings back the history where freedom began," Hailey said. "It’s going to carry throughout Stockton and the State of California."
After the Battle of Antietam, the annoucement of the September 1863 Emancipation Proclamation proposed to free slaves in states of rebellion against the federal government. It did not free slaves in Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, which did not attempt to secede from the United States. It was not until after the passage of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in 1865 that "from sea to shinning sea" slavery was illegal in the United States unless "convicted of a crime."
Many Blacks worldwide celebrate Juneteenth, which began on June 19, 1865, when plantations in Galveston, Texas, received news that they were no longer slaves, and now employees… two years after the proclamation was issued during end of the U.S. Civil War.
Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War exhibit is located in the William Jessup University Paul Nystrom Library. The exhibit is available for free viewing from August 16 to September 24 during the library’s operating hours. Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War exhibit is a traveling museum exhibit which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and designed by the National Constitution Center
The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Expressions of Freedom, invites everyone to learn about this amazing unfolding chapter of U.S. History that continues to impact our nation and world.