North Texas Daily

Historical document displayed to educate about slavery

Historical document displayed to educate about slavery

February 14
00:40 2013

Alex Byrd



In celebration of the 87th annual Black History Month, UNT’s Multicultural Center will host its fifth culturally informative event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday in the Union Courtyard.

The day after Valentine’s Day, students can see the care Abraham Lincoln showed through his signed mandate, The Emancipation Proclamation, which will be on display. The come-and-go event will cover the historical details of why this pivotal document was written and its significance.

“What we’re hoping is that by providing all of this information, students can reflect on the state of the nation and what that means for us now,” said Uyen Tran-Parsons, director of multicultural programming.

The 150-year-old executive order is built on Lincoln’s constitutional authority he acted on as chief of the military, rather than a law voted on by Congress.

On Jan. 1, 1863, the decree announced that all enslaved people within 10 Confederate states were officially released and required the Army and the executive branch to recognize 3 million out of 4 million slaves as free citizens.

The Emancipation Proclamation signified a shift in the Civil War for the North with a reconstruction plan for the former slaves. The document was also a catalyst for the prohibition of slavery in 1865.

“I think it’s often displayed as, ‘Oh, it just freed the slaves,’ when there is more to it than that,” said Kellen Hill, multicultural center student services coordinator. “Students either forget or just don’t actually know the purpose behind it.”

This declaration did not apply to 14 parishes, or counties, within Louisiana due to federal exemption, along with Missouri and Maryland, both of which abolished slavery during the Civil War.  Slavery also remained legal in West Virginia because it fell under the fifth border jurisdiction and was not a state at the time.

The remaining slaves in Kentucky and Delaware were not emancipated until the 13th Amendment passed in December 1865, which made slavery illegal across the United States.

Students of any race can plan to gain a deeper understanding about the phrase “Emancipation Proclamation” itself.

“I personally love learning about different monumental eras in history and how they shape the present world we live in,” business undeclared freshman Joshlyn Willis said.

The Multicultural Center plans to host six additional Black History Month events along with celebratory and informative events hosted by the history, English, music and libraries departments.

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