In a story for the Huffington Post, published on November 16, history and Africana studies Professor Scott Hancock discusses the Gettysburg Address and how the mission President Lincoln began has yet to be accomplished.
From the Huffington Post:
How could Abraham Lincoln really believe what he said in the first line of the Gettysburg Address?
He said the United States had been conceived in liberty, knowing full well that the founding of the country sealed a million black people in slavery.
He said the country was dedicated to equality, knowing full well that since its founding this country had systemically denied basic legal rights to nearly all African Americans.
How could Lincoln point Americans toward a set of ideals that had been so purposefully crushed for anyone black living in this country?
The answer: Lincoln said it because he believed it, because he knew full well the promise as well as the curse of America's beginning. He understood that the U.S. had a unique mission that was flawed by conditions that assured its failure.