Freedom Rising:
150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
and African American Military Service

May 2-4, 2013

     Freedom Rising:
     The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation                                      and 
African American Military Service in the Civil War: 
                     A Public Symposium
                        May 2-4, 2013

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 4, 2013 – In commemoration of the 150th
 Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and of the first black Civil War troops from the North, several Greater Boston educational, historical, and cultural organizations are collaborating to present Freedom Rising: The 150th Anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation and African American Military Service in the Civil War from May 2 through 4, 2013. 

Freedom Rising takes place throughout Greater Boston with lectures by Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian Eric Foner and others, a Symposium focusing on the hemispheric impact of the Emancipation Proclamation, and Roots of Liberty, a performance with special guests actor Danny Glover, scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and author Edwidge Danticat exploring the impact of the Haitian Revolution on the antislavery movement and the Civil War. All events are free and open to the public.

The second founding of the United States took place in the midst of the great sacrifice and destruction of the American Civil War. Before the war, slavery was protected by the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that no African American possessed any right that white men were bound to respect. During the war, blacks served in the armed forces with distinction, making a Union victory possible. After the war, slavery was extinguished and black men gained the right to vote—key to full citizenship—and many won election to state legislatures in the North and South and to both houses of Congress. The key document of this transformation is the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Freedom Rising coincides with exhibitions at Harvard University's Houghton Library at the Museum of African American History. 

Boston's Crusade Against Slavery


Wednesday, July 31 at 5:30 p.m.

Edison and Newman Room

Houghton Library, Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138
Go to the website

How did a fiery abolitionist senator and a genteel poet come together as the closest of friends? Presented as a dramatic reading of actual historic documents - including letters, journals, poetry, and speeches - this program will highlight the deep personal relationship shared between abolitionist politician Charles Sumner and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The reading takes listeners from the earliest friendship of these two men to their antislavery advocacy, from their personal triumphs and tragedies and into their final years, weaving through the events of the nation including Emancipation.

Join us for this unique look at two of the 19th century's most articulate spokesmen.  View the exhibition Boston's Crusade Against Slavery during the post-talk reception.  Professor John Stauffer will provide opening remarks.

Houghton Library is located on Harvard Yard near the corner of Quincy Street and Massachusetts Avenue. 

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