Today–September 22, 2012– marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the preliminary issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the document which made freedom possible for roughly four million enslaved African Americans. Although the order did not take effect until January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s September 22 issuance created a timeline for the abolition of the long-standing American slavery system. This document drastically altered the course of the Civil War and, consequently, American history by officially outlawing ownership of any human being, a practice which the U.S. Constitution had essentially ignored prior to the proclamation. Immediately following the war, the order was further solidified and enforced throughout the entire nation (including the former Confederacy) by 1865’s 13th Amendment. Though African Americans would endure a century of harsh discrimination until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, the Emancipation Proclamation marks the first monumental gain for racial equality in American history.
In conjunction with the Jubilee Project, the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture will host a conference entitled “The Fire Every Time: Reframing Black Power Across the Twentieth Century and Beyond.” The conference will feature speakers and panels challenging the negative connotations associated with the black power movement, both during and after the Civil Rights Movement, and revealing the positive impact the phenomenon had upon the nation’s struggle for equality. Speakers from a wide range of institutions will discuss the movement in various contexts–spanning the gamut from historical mythology to modern-day politics–over the course of the two-day conference.
Registration is required for the event and is accessible through the conference’s website, http://avery.cofc.edu/programs/black-power-conference/. For more information, contact Dr. Robert Chase, the event’s organizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 953-7607. Also see The Post and Courier’s recent article discussing the conference and the historical contexts surrounding the black power movement, “Black Power and its impact topic of Avery Center Conference.”