On Saturday, March 28 the Greensboro Historical Museum is opening its new exhibition, Emancipation Proclamation: Voices to Freedom. Visitors will follow a path through Greensboro’s history that includes powerful stories of 300 years of African American experience seeking liberty and freedom. The highlight of this four week exhibition is a Leland-Boker 1864 edition of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln, on loan from the Lincoln Foundation Collection of the Indiana State Museum.
This April marks the 150th (sesquicentennial) anniversary of the end of the Civil War. On January 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which declared that within those territories in active rebellion, “all persons held as slaves shall be…forever free.”
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Lincoln Financial Group, has arranged for this rare document and other Lincoln artifacts, including an inkwell and Mathew Brady images from the Lincoln family album, to be loaned to the Greensboro Historical Museum.
The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a major step toward the abolition of slavery, helping to renew this nation’s founding philosophy of human liberty. Museum Director Carol Ghiorsi Hart says, “This exhibit invites visitors to ponder America’s founding principles, Lincoln’s hope for freedom for all and the experience of African Americans in our community.” A recently discovered New York State Museum audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech commemorating the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation will also be in the exhibition.
The exhibit includes several special programs:
· Wednesday, March 25 at 7 pm “From the Emancipation Proclamation to Family Photographs; The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection.” Dale Ogden, Curator at Indiana State Museum.
· Saturday, April 11 at 2 pm and 7 pm, Sunday, April 12 at 2 pm “Meet Mr. Lincoln” featuring actor Peter Holland.
· Thursday, April 16 at 7 pm “The Many Meanings of the Emancipation Proclamation, a Panel Discussion” includes: Dr. Arwin Smallwood, NCA&TSU, Professor and Chair of History Department; Dr. Paul Escott, Reynolds Professor, Wake Forest University History Department; and Dr. Mark Elliott, Associate Professor, UNCG History Department.
Admission to all programs is free, but reservations are highly recommended. Please call (336) 373-2982 or go to GreensboroHistory.org.
Emancipation Proclamation: Voices to Freedom, made possible by the Lincoln Financial Foundation, City of Greensboro, GHM Inc., and the John Floy Wicker Endowment, runs Saturday, March 28 through Sunday, April 26. Admission is free. Museum Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday from 2 – 5 pm. Closed Easter Sunday. Extended hours during this period include: Friday, April 3 from 10 am – 8 pm; Saturday, April 11 from 10 am – 8 pm; Thursday, April 16 from 10 am – 8 pm; Friday, April 24 from 10 am – 8 pm.