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An Uneasy History

Although Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as a tireless champion for the equal rights of African Americans, there are many indications that he held views that we would find shocking today. It’s important to understand the reality of our history to truly appreciate the challenges we face in the area of racial reconciliation today. In her New York Times article entitled A Separate Peace, Kate Masur delves into parts of our history that are sometimes hard to comprehend.

From the article:

Those interested in the history of abolition and racial equality would find few incidents in Lincoln’s presidency as dispiriting as the president’s Aug. 14, 1862, meeting with a delegation of five black men from Washington. It was dispiriting then as well: to the dismay of those hoping the Civil War would lead to full citizenship for African-Americans, Lincoln informed the delegation that “you and we are different races” and proposed that the five men be progenitors of a black colony the government would establish in Chiriquí, a region of what is now Panama.

Image by rodolfo. Used in accordance with Creative Commons. Sourced via Flickr.

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