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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On January 1, 1863, an order that would come to define Abraham Lincoln’s presidency went into effect. Leaders of Wilmington’s African-American community say his decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation still resonates.

Inside the doors of St. Luke AMEZ Church in Wilmington a congregation is looking to the past for answers to today’s problems.

“The challenges we face going forward are not necessarily new challenges they’re the old challenges of 150 years ago, 200 years ago, they still kind of reinvent themselves and the solutions are just the same,” Rev. Dr. William Johnson said. “It takes courage and tenacity, and the ability to have the capacity to still believe in the truth.”

150 years after the enactment of the proclamation Reverend Johnson says that there are still examples of emancipation taking place around us each and every day.

“The emancipation proclamation was the proclamation against a system that was in place,” Johnson said. “The Wilmington Ten being pardoned was a great deal that went a great way to deal with systemic challenges.”

Rev. Johnson used the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation to remind his congregation of the hardships facing us today, and encouraged them to look at Lincoln’s decision for inspiration and courage.

“We are dealing with major challenges, not just racially but economically,” Rev. Johnson said. “Regardless of color people are living in poverty, they’re living in challenging situations and so we have to do something and be tenacious in our attempts to deal with those things. Courage is something that takes all of us, no matter who we are to deal with injustice.”

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3 Comments on "St. Luke’s celebrates 150th anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation"

2015 years 10 months ago

Anyone with half a brain, who reads that document will be able to conclude that Lincoln didn’t free anyone. The document states that the slaves in the CSA states were freed, but the states that stayed in the union could keep their slaves. Lincoln had no authority within the Confederate States of America, therefore he had no authority to enact anything in that state. For everyone’s information, Lincoln was more racist than most. He was all for sending all black people back to Africa. When his advisers told him that it was a bad political move, Lincoln settled on sending them to Haiti. Thankfully, that never came to fruition. But, it’s past time to quit hailing this man as a hero and see him for the petty tyrant that he was.

2015 years 10 months ago

Finally i have heard someone tell the truth about the Proclamation and Lincoln

2015 years 10 months ago

but history and the wording of the Emancipation should be reviewed.

The Emancipation Proclimation only ended slavery in the states which had seceded from the Union. In part it was intended to ensure Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia did not withdraw from the Union. “It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.”

Sorry; but let the truth be told.


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