Watch Nights mark Emancipation Proclamation 150th

Black Politics on the Web discusses the roots of the “Watch Night” tradition as associated with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation:

As New Year’s Day approached 150 years ago, all eyes were on President Abraham Lincoln in expectation of what he warned 100 days earlier would be coming — his final proclamation declaring all slaves in states rebelling against the Union to be “forever free.”

A tradition began Dec. 31, 1862, as many black churches held Watch Night services, awaiting word that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would take effect amid a bloody Civil War. Later, congregations listened as the president’s historic words were read aloud. 

To read the full article, visit Black Politics on the Web‘s website. 

 

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