Black History Month 2013 was kicked off in DC with two special events at the African-American Civil War Museum (AACWM.)
As recommended by Examiner in an earlier article, the museum offered two noteworthy, educational events free to the public.
On Feb. 1 Curator Hari Jones explored President Abraham Lincoln’s policies and the contributions of African-Americans to the Union military in his lecture and visual presentation called ‘Adding a Powerful Ally: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Civil War.’
Today Jones told Examiner in an exclusive interview that his lecture “had a really good response.” He reported that the question-and-answer segment after the lecture was so “lively and educating” that both the lecturer and the audience left with a better understanding of how African-Americans viewed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Citing extensive 19th century Congressional Records, legal papers and Lincoln’s letters, Jones and his guests concluded that President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation for two reasons: as a war measure, and to suppress the Rebellion.
On Feb. 2 the Museum hosted ‘First Saturday Descendants’ Day’ presentations in the AACWM Auditorium at 11 a.m. The stories of African-Americans in the Civil War were explored through the eyes of their descendants as they shared about their ancestors and their family research process.
In an an exclusive interview, Museum Director Dr. Frank Smith announced a new task force now forming as a result of the research by these historians. Smith told Examiner today that he hosted a group of students who were interested in restoring and preserving a cemetery of former slaves, whose graves have been left unattended and have fallen into disrepair in NW, DC.
Dr. Smith shared this video with Examiner.
One AACWM objective is to get more DC students involved and to partner with a DC school. Plans for a partnership with Shaw Middle School, directly across the street from the Memorial Plaza fell through last year when the teacher involved was ‘excessed.’ Then DCPS announced plans to close Shaw Middle School, in the historic Garnet-Patterson building.
Subscribe to DCPS Examiner for updates on the museum’s historic preservation projects-in-progress.
Every month is black history month at AACWM:
- First Saturday Descendants Presentations:
‘Every first Saturday we feature a descendant of a United States Colored Troop who presents information about their ancestor.
‘Come join us for this program or if you are interested in presenting information about your information please download our descendants form (PDF) and return it to the museum.
‘The museum records the presentations for future reference.’
- Education Programs
The African American Civil War Museum offers a host of education programming. Click here to visit their education resources.
- ‘The Glorious March to Liberty Traveling Exhibit’
‘Our traveling exhibit shares firsthand accounts of soldiers and other participants during the Civil War.’
Contact the museum here to volunteer, to sign up for free educational tours, to join the new task force, or call 202-667-2667 for more information.