National Scholar Dr. Edna Greene Medford Keynote Speaker for Emancipation Proclamation Program

Issued on January 1, 1863, the Proclamation of Emancipation freed slaves living in states that were “in rebellion against the United States.” To commemorate that event the Old Capitol Museum is pleased to host the program The Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln, Grant, and Mississippi at noon on Tuesday, September 11.

“The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation was a turning point in American history—the moment when the nation began to fulfill its great promise,” said Mississippi Department of Archives and History director H.T. Holmes. “We are honored to have Dr. Edna Greene Medford as the keynote speaker. We invite everyone to join with us to remember this event and to examine its importance.”

Edna Greene Medford is chair of the history department at Howard University. She will discuss the Emancipation Proclamation and its role in the Civil War. Medford specializes in nineteenth-century U.S. history and is a co-author of the book The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views. She edited Historical Perspectives of the African Burial Ground Project; New York Blacks and the Diaspora and is currently writing Lincoln and Emancipation, which is scheduled for publication in 2014. She has appeared on C-SPAN, the History Channel, and National Public Radio.

Mississippi State University president Dr. Mark Keenum will introduce a panel discussion with former Mississippi governor William Winter, NAACP state president Derrick Johnson, and Medgar Evers: Mississippi Martyr author Michael Williams to conclude the program. Dr. Robert Luckett of Jackson State University will moderate, and a reception will follow.

“We are most appreciative to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation for supporting our efforts to help celebrate the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial with such a nationally prominent speaker and distinguished panel of Mississippians,” said Dr. John Marszalek, executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, Mississippi State University. “What more appropriate place to hold a discussion on the Emancipation Proclamation than in our state’s historic Old Capitol Museum?”

The program is part of a series that will continue on October 18 at the Vicksburg National Military Park Auditorium and on November 2 at the Corinth Civil War Interpretative Center.

The event is sponsored by the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, Mississippi State University, and Mississippi State University Libraries. Funding for the programs was made possible by a grant from the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, dedicated to perpetuating and expanding Lincoln’s vision for America and completing America’s unfinished work.

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