As we enter 2013, the year of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation enactment and Gettysburg Address, and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Gettysburg College Africana studies and history Prof. Scott Hancock considers the journey, struggles and progress of African Americans since the Civil War era in a January 15 piece on the Huffington Post.
From the Huffington Post:
Emancipation Proclamation and Realizing MLK Dream
Three hundred and twenty-two days after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he delivered the Gettysburg Address, one of the two most famous speeches in American history. He vowed that soldiers who died at Gettysburg gave their lives for a "new birth of freedom" by securing the Union. For Lincoln, that included fulfilling the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Sixty-six years and 14 days after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born into a country that had betrayed the promise of emancipation. As the United States became an economic dynamo, the federal government systematically shut African Americans out of one of the most remarkable economic explosions in history. State and local governments, north and south, locked out African Americans, too. Businesses, realtors, 'social' organizations like the KKK in the south and homeowners' associations in the north also helped ensure that the country King grew up in would not fulfill Lincoln's promises.