Exhibition Commemorates Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation

Title page from the 1855 edition of Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom.

Title page from the 1855 edition of Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that all enslaved individuals in the rebellious Southern states were “thenceforward, and forever free.” In honor of the the 150th anniversary of one of the most important documents in U.S. history, the Amistad Research Center is featuring the exhibition, “Am I Not a Brother, Am I Not a Sister?: An Exhibition to Commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation” from April 2 to June 28, 2013. The exhibition highlights documents from Amistad’s many collections that provide personal narratives concerning the international slave trade, the abolitionist movement, and the eventual emancipation of enslaved persons in the United States.

An exhibition checklist is now online and Center staff are completing an online tour which will be linked from Amistad’s website. Highlights include letters describing contemporary reactions by former slaves after the Proclamation was issued; photographs, correspondence, and printed works about abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman, Thomas Clarkson, and others; papers of a family of free people of color in Virginia and Boston; documents concerning the founding of the Freedmen’s Bureau; as well as documents chronicling slavery and the continued struggles African Americans faced following emancipation.

The exhibition is free and open to the public during the Center’s hours of 8:30-4:30, Monday-Friday. Groups interested in a tour of the exhibition should call 504.862.3222.

Posted by Christopher Harter

(Image from the Amistad Research Center. May not be reproduced without permission.)


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