From Emancipation to Equality: The Unfinished Business of Civil War and Civil Rights

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.”

“But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington, 1963

This campaign marks the 150th anniversary of Emancipation and the Civil War, and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, with public programs exploring our nation’s racial progress and the work that remains to be done.

"From Emancipation to Equality"How can we better understand the role of the entire nation, including the North and the West, in slavery, the Civil War, and the civil rights movement? Why was Lincoln’s promise of Emancipation rejected by the Union until 1865? What has been achieved by such landmark civil rights moments as Freedom Summer, the Civil Rights Act of 1864, and the Voting Rights Act of 1865, and what aspects of King’s dream remain unfulfilled? How can we overcome enduring obstacles to racial healing and equity, and address critical social issues today?

This campaign is designed to allow local communities and organizations, including civic groups, school, colleges and universities, workplaces, and religious denominations, to explore these themes at a single event, or through a flexible series of programs led by Tracing Center speakers and facilitators or based on our program designs, resource materials, and facilitator training.

Programs are tailored to local history and to the community or group’s individual needs and interests. Themes covered can include historical myths and realities, contemporary issues of social, economic, and political relevance, and interpersonal issues related to race, power, and privilege.

"From Emancipation to Equality"Bring any of the following programs to your local community, school, church, workplace, or other organization:

For more information, or to book campaign programs for your local community or organization, please contact us.

Mass HumanitiesThis campaign is funded in part through the generous support of Mass Humanities, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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