Election made U.S. 'a little bit freer'

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For years, many have gathered at Augusta's Tabernacle Baptist Church to celebrate the anniversary of an Emancipation Proclamation executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863.

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Dr. Charles J. Smith Sr., the president of the Augusta NAACP, talks about the Emancipation Proclamation and the Augusta Lincoln League at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Dr. Charles J. Smith Sr., the president of the Augusta NAACP, talks about the Emancipation Proclamation and the Augusta Lincoln League at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta

This year, they had something more to celebrate.

Many of the speakers at Augusta's 146th Emancipation Day Celebration spoke of the November victory of Barack Obama, the first black person to be elected president.

The Rev. Clarence Grier, the president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta, gave one of the greetings to the full sanctuary and spoke of the need to work to change the community and the country for the better.

"We cannot sit by and expect President-elect Obama to do it all," the Rev. Grier said . "We've got to do our share as well."

State Rep. Wayne Howard, of House District 121, also shared political insights, comparing the recent election to Lincoln's issue of the Emancipation Proclamation.

"Now we feel a little bit freer, because on Nov. 4, 2008, the people signed an Emancipation Proclamation and we passed it on to our president," Mr. Howard said.

Dr. Charles J. Smith Sr., president of the Augusta Branch of the NAACP, gave a brief synopsis of the history of the Emancipation Proclamation. Dr. Smith spoke about how freed slaves would later organize leagues named after President Lincoln as a means of honoring him. The Augusta Lincoln League, the sponsor of the Emancipation Day Celebration, is one of those.

Later in the celebration, Dr. Smith was honored as the 2009 Augusta Lincoln League Citizen of the Year.

According to the Rev. Ethoin Rowe, president of the Augusta Lincoln League, the group is a public service organization that seeks to assist students pursuing post-secondary education who are committed to bringing about change in their communities.

"We combine history with making history, and getting young people to strive to go higher and obtain a good, solid education," he said.

The Rev. Rowe said the league offers applications for assistance at the end of the Emancipation Day Celebration every year. He said the group does this so applicants will have a chance to learn what the celebration is all about.

The Rev. Michael Clayton Harris, pastor of Acts of Faith Baptist Church in Atlanta, was the featured speaker, delivering a message based on Psalm 23.

Reach Jonathan Overstreet at (706) 823-3708 or jonathan.overstreet@augustachronicle.com.

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dale88fan
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dale88fan 01/02/09 - 05:37 am
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Dont worry === your freebees

Dont worry === your freebees will soon be here!

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/02/09 - 06:34 am
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During the mid 60's, the

During the mid 60's, the Republican party finally heard the cries of the oppressed black American and passed a series of civil rights laws against the ardent and angry objection of the Democrat party. However, the Dems, being by far the more organized party, immediately saw the black vote going to the Repubs, so they passed a series of entitlement laws and started a very successful campaign to convince the black Americans the Democrat party was the only group that understood the plight of the black man and only they could help emancipate them. Thus began the end of the black family and the end of self respect, self responsibility, honor, honesty and trustworthyness of all that bought into the entitlement program. While government entitlements and the drug culture enslaved this vast group of the black community, the total loyalty of the entire black community was assured to their masters...the Democrat party. With the election of President Obama, there's a new attitude that seems to be sweeping the black community. Slavery, in all of its forms, is a pretty lousy life style to choose. Self examination may finally release the shackles placed on their hears and minds in the mid 60s.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/02/09 - 06:41 am
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With the election of our new

With the election of our new president, this part of the black community has an OPPORTUNITY to regain their freedom, which will, in turn, free their more successful brothers and sisters. I hope they grasp, and take advantage of, this situation and make the long journey to the equality they've sought in America. Our country would be the better for it.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/02/09 - 06:42 am
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Personally, I don't think the

Personally, I don't think the Democrat party will allow them to. Time will tell.

christian134
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christian134 01/02/09 - 08:18 am
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Personally I believe this era

Personally I believe this era to be the ending of past wrongs perpetrated on the black American...Now begins a time of relearning what it means for all of Americans to fight for our country, to rebuild an economy that has seen generations on government dole, to cease living on another's dime, being responsible for one's own without always crying that someone or anyone of a different color has held that particular race down...We are no longer Black, White, Brown, Red or Yellow Americans...We are ALL Americans...KKK, Black Panthers, NAACP as well as other specialty groups Bye...

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 08:26 am
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Well christian when you get

Well christian when you get the government to stop putting people into those categories, I believe that for the most part it will stop.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 08:31 am
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Message to the ones that

Message to the ones that claim "whitey" "cracker" "[filtered word]" or whatever derogatory term you chose keeps you from getting ahead. Barak Obama came from poverty, the product of a mixed marriage, lack of a father from a young age. If he can overcome and become president, what the hell is your excuse for not trying to better yourself.

yak11
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yak11 01/02/09 - 08:38 am
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LOL....of for Heaven's Sake.

LOL....of for Heaven's Sake. If you or your "pee-ps" determination of progress or success is dependent on the actions of another person, place or thing, then you are exhibitng the classic sign of VICTIMOLOGY. You will continue to be victims REGARDLESS. Trust me B.O has as much control (party wise) as any President in history. BUT he has no experience. He will find out quickly enough that victims have one thing you can count on. Regardless of what happens or what someone else does for them it will NEVER BE ENOUGH.

christian134
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christian134 01/02/09 - 08:40 am
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I have never put people into

I have never put people into categories Hypo...I have grown up with the black "oppressed" people labeling themselves into these particular categories....

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 08:56 am
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Did I say you, I said when

Did I say you, I said when the government. You are not the government and I have never felt oppressed. Again, keep better company and you will not hear some of the things you claim to.

christian134
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christian134 01/02/09 - 09:03 am
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My company does not

My company does not thankfully include folks like the Black Panthers, NAACP, KKK(contrary to public opinion) or to anyone who continues to moan and groan about not enough government monies, not enough this or that from hard working Americans...Plus Hypo believe it or not these government agencies where created and implemented for groups of people who believe they are owed a living simple because they were an ancestor of an oppressed race of people...Well let me clue you in I have no use for anyone who oppresses another in this country or around the world...In fact I have grown tired of seeing my children, their children as well as others oppressed simply because they are white in mostly black schools or work places... This door swings wide and both ways Hypo...

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 09:14 am
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christian I would have hated

christian I would have hated to grow up where ever you did. I grew up in Sun Set Homes and not one single time did I over hear anyone talk about being oppressed. I place those people in the same category as the ones who claim to have lost their jobs to Affirmative Action. It is called Urban Legends.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/02/09 - 09:17 am
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HYPO, I agree. The government

HYPO, I agree. The government does put people into categories and then claims segregation is taking place. I think, since the government is so difficult to control and direct, it would be best if people didn't allow themselves to be put into these categories and claimed un-categorized, un-hyphenated citizenship. All treated alike. Equality at last.

SCGAL53
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SCGAL53 01/02/09 - 09:21 am
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"Now we feel a little bit

"Now we feel a little bit freer"- what a ridicuous statement! We all have the same rights, it's just what path we choose to take. Some people want to hold on to the mentality that we do not have equal opportunity. We all have the opportunity to be eduacated, work and be law-abiding citizens.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 09:22 am
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Hypo, if Affirmative Action

Hypo, if Affirmative Action is a legend, please tell me why I was denied a job in the early 80's "due to the Federal Gov't's minoriy requirements"

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 09:24 am
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One the other hand, why was I

One the other hand, why was I offered a scholarship to Fayetteville State University when there were blacks that needed the help more than I did. They needed a token white to meet to govt's quota again. So it does work both ways.

christian134
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christian134 01/02/09 - 09:26 am
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That it is a "urban legend"

That it is a "urban legend" in your mind is just completing my point Hypo...I have know many people who have over the past 40 odd years who have lost jobs to affirmative action...Come down into the world outside of your "inside your head" world and look around...It is amazing what you will find outside the brainwashed society you currently reside...This is not being said in an ugly way but simply being said from another's perspective...It is difficult to believe anyone race is wrong some of the time but believe me we all have been wrong...Your race is included not excluded...

getalife
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getalife 01/02/09 - 09:37 am
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Blacks that have used and

Blacks that have used and abused the give=away programs for their entire lives are and will always be slaves to the system. At some point these people have got to realize that only education and personal responsibility will ever lift them out of this slavery. As long as they have the attitude that the country owes them a living, they are slaves. Give-away programs should be for the sick and elderly.

bone
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bone 01/02/09 - 09:39 am
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hypo, reread your 7:26 post;

hypo, reread your 7:26 post; it is clear from your message that you expect christian134 to fix the troubles of the gov't. i think the bigger message should be this: until people are able to take pride in themselves and refuse gov't assistance, we are going to continue to be a nation plagued by 2nd class citizens who are willing to cede their pride in return for handouts. a neighbor helping a neighbor used to mean that the helpee always found a way to repay the helper. nowadays, those beset with 2nd class citizen status find help to be a subject to COMPLAIN about rather than rejoice over (see "Neighbors now scattered about" article in yesterday's chronicle).

beachbum1776
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beachbum1776 01/02/09 - 10:00 am
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The following is from an

The following is from an Atlanta preacher who will dissagree with this article.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuEc-nFULY8

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 01/02/09 - 10:01 am
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Wrong, SCGAL53. We are NOT

Wrong, SCGAL53. We are NOT born equal. And we won't be born equal until the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified. There are some people in some 29 states that will be born less free than others -- because of who they are and/or what their parents are.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 10:17 am
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willistown, the equal rights

willistown, the equal rights amendment does not deal with race, it deals with gender.

griesella
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griesella 01/02/09 - 10:19 am
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Okay..So why not just blame

Okay..So why not just blame your parents for not giving you a better start in life.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 10:33 am
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White Trash why were some

White Trash why were some people denied Jobs yesterday due to the Good Old Boy system? You cannot have it both ways. On one hand some claim Blacks make up the majority of the entitlement roll. On the other hands we are taking all of the jobs through Affirmative Action. In the 1980's I was denied a position that was given IMHO, to a lesser qualified person. Was it racism? I do not believe so, but was it the Good Old Boy system in action. I really do believe it was. had nothing to do with race more than keeping it in the clique.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 10:37 am
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Who was open yesterday to

Who was open yesterday to deny anyone a job???

Phish
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Phish 01/02/09 - 10:46 am
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Beach Bum that video is so

Beach Bum that video is so precious I had to save it and I'm gonna send to everybody I can. Eveybody should see this thanx

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 01/02/09 - 10:46 am
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The ERA deals with gender,

The ERA deals with gender, race, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/02/09 - 10:59 am
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Thank you willi, I see the

Thank you willi, I see the new year hasn't affected your brain any.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 11:03 am
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I am gonna change my status

I am gonna change my status to a black, gay, female from West Whatchaslovakia. People will be begging me to take their job, handouts, entitlements etc.

devilishlymad67
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devilishlymad67 01/02/09 - 11:07 am
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yes lets celebrate something

yes lets celebrate something that shows our ignorance in our own history! LOL.. This proclaimation only freed the slaves in the states that were rebelling.....Slavery was still legal in the remaining states.......LOL>....Lincoln sure fooled alot of ignorant people....go back and READ!!!!

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