History and Africana Studies Prof. Scott Hancock recently reflected on Lincoln's views on slavery and inequality, and why his Gettysburg Address is still important today. His thoughts appeared on yahoo! Finance on Nov. 18, a day before the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
From Yahoo! Finance:
Compromised equality, compromised freedom: the Gettysburg Address 150 years later
Gettysburg College Prof. explores why Lincoln's speech is still important
Scott Hancock, a history and Africana studies professor at Gettysburg College, recently discussed Lincoln's views on slavery and inequality, and why his Gettysburg Address is still important today, 150 years after it was delivered:
As he is preparing the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln is considering the loss of life at Gettysburg. He probably would have seen the sacrifice of all those soldiers, particularly the loss of Union life, as a waste if the nation had somehow permitted the continued existence of slavery. So for Lincoln, there is no other solution but continue the fight for equality until it is resolved.
Lincoln represents how we want to see ourselves. We want to see ourselves as people who will do what is right, no matter the circumstances, and that ultimately achieve those ideals the nation was founded on. However, freedom without other kinds of equalities is severely compromised, and that is what we are still struggling to figure out: how we make those legacies of the Civil War manifest in tangible ways today.