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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Ron Daniels

The Emancipation Proclamation: From 3/5 Human to Second Class Citizenship

By Commentaries/Opinions, Vantage Point Articles

When I first became active in the Civil Rights Movement as a teenager in Youngstown, Ohio, January 1st was always a very important day in the Black community — not because it was the first day of a new year, but it was Emancipation Day. Every year the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the local Chapter of the NAACP would host a major program commemorating the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863.  This was celebrated as a momentous occasion because with a stroke of a pen, President Lincoln freed enslaved Africans from bondage.  Certainly a just cause for celebration! What was never noted in the Emancipation Day Programs was that the Proclamation did not “free” all of the 4 million enslaved Africans.

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