MU Black History Month 2013
Emancipation As Process
This year the University of Missouri celebrates the Process of Emancipation for Black people throughout the United States, Africa, and the Diaspora. 2013 marks the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation—an executive order signed on January 1, 1863 by the 16th President of the United States—which freed “all persons held as slaves within any” of the Confederate States of America. The 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln, Crittenden Compromise, battles at Port Hudson Antietam, and Appomattox, Confiscation Acts, Corps d’ Afrique, and most importantly the symbolic meaning what Lincoln’s words portended in the aftermath of Civil War attests to the significance of emancipation as a process rather than a singular event. Envisioning the commemoration of this 1863 document and the 1963 March on Washington in terms of what historian Wilma King describes as “the reflection of a possibility rather than a reality” extends the process of emancipation far beyond the chronological and national boundaries of U.S. emancipation.