From Harford Community College:
Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963, a traveling exhibition, will be on display at the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College from February 17 through March 25. The “Changing America” exhibition examines the relationship between two historically important “people’s movements” that resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in 1963. Exhibit hours are Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m.; Thursdays, 3-5 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon; and first Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is free.
“We are thrilled to have been selected as one of only 50 sites across the nation to host this exhibition,” said Julie Mancine, Coordinator of the Hays-Heighe House and College Archivist. “This is a chance to tell the story of two pivotal events that each helped to steady the nation on its course toward liberty and justice for all. More than that, it is an opportunity to highlight the struggles and work of dedicated individuals to extend equal rights to all Americans.”
Enslaved and free Americans chipped away at slavery through daily acts of resistance, organized rebellions, and political pressure. Finally, on September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln ordered that as of January 1, 1863, all enslaved individuals in all areas still in rebellion against the United States “henceforward shall be free,” and under the protection of the military. Many of the new freedoms that were promised in conjunction with the Emancipation Proclamation were gradually stripped away and seen as unfulfilled commitments a century later.
On August 28, 1963, an estimated 250,000 Americans gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to mark the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and listen to prayers, electrifying speeches, and stirring music. Afterward, demonstrations and violence continued to pressure political leaders. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed segregated public facilities and prohibited discrimination in employment and voting. The success of the March on Washington and the achievements of the modern struggle for civil rights have provided a lasting model for social change.
“Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963” is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and is part of NEH’s Bridging Cultures initiative, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” which brings four outstanding films on the civil rights movement to communities across the United States (see http://createdequal.neh.gov). “Created Equal” encourages communities across the country to revisit and reflect on the long history of civil rights in America.
The Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College is offering a number of programs that will provide opportunities to discuss the relationship between these two movements. There will be two lectures by Harford Community College professors, a panel discussion with community members who participated locally in the civil rights movement, and three documentary film discussions, along with a living history presentation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “The Changing America exhibit and programming are also complemented by our locally developed exhibition, Voices of Change: Social Protest Through the Arts and Humanities, which will remain on view at the same time,” said Mancine. “We are excited to see how these stories spark together.”
The Hays-Heighe House is located on the campus of Harford Community College at 401 Thomas Run Rd., Bel Air, MD. For more information, contact 443-412-2539, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.harford.edu/hays-heighe-house.