The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will recognize the upcoming 160th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
On Jan. 7, the museum will host a screening of the new Netflix film “Descendants” at 2 p.m., presented by the public programs department and the Robert F. Smith Explore Your Family History Center. The film will depict the search and recovery of the Clotilda, the last known ship to arrive in the U.S. illegally carrying enslaved Africans, in Mobile, Ala.
After the film airs, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Mary Elliott, curator of American slavery at the museum, and featuring Margaret Brown, director of the film; Kern Jackson, co-writer and co-producer of the film; Veda Tunstall and Joycelyn Davis, descendants of passengers of the Clotilda; and executive producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. Admission is free but registration is requested.
The Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in the rebelling Confederates States of America during the Civil War, was preliminarily issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Sept. 22, 1862, in the form of a military executive order that was to go into effect on Jan. 1, 1863.
In the museum’s Slavery and Freedom exhibition, there are copies of a handheld pamphlet explaining the proclamation, an original signed order by Lincoln and an original handwritten copy of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning slavery are on display.
“It is important that we remember the hard-fought battle for freedom and what it took to ensure freedom for all,” Elliott said. “The Emancipation Proclamation did not free all enslaved people. Yet, it was foundational in the march toward freedom, and it struck a mighty blow to the system of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment finally knocked slavery out of the country.”
For more details, go to nmaahc.si.edu/emancipation.
This Museum of Ours is SUCH A TREASURE!!!
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