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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HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 11:08 am
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I do not expect christian to

I do not expect christian to fix anything. The point I was trying to make is that when the government stop requiring that race is listed on application, then you will truly have a color blind employment process.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 11:11 am
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willistown, apparently you

willistown, apparently you have access to a computer but do not know how to do a search and read the text of the proposed 28th amendment to the US Constitution. It deals strictly with gender.

bone
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bone 01/02/09 - 11:20 am
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when race is no longer listed

when race is no longer listed on applications and the actual work history / school records count, then i'll believe the system is truly color blind and the best-qualified candidates for jobs will be hired. your racially-charged "good old boy" system comments seem to be in direct proportion to your support for the "fairer" affirmative action system; why is that, hypocrites08? is trading one evil for another somehow appropriate? geez, this article is just getting me more aggravated by the minute.

frontporch
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frontporch 01/02/09 - 11:26 am
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I thought it wasn't about

I thought it wasn't about race?!?! Now, the race card is pulled again.

SCGAL53
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SCGAL53 01/02/09 - 11:30 am
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willistown- I didn't say we

willistown- I didn't say we were born equal! If you want to hang on to your slave mentality, go right ahead. I won't be part of your pity party.

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 01/02/09 - 11:33 am
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The race box on applications

The race box on applications is a direct result of the affirmative action policies.

justus4
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justus4 01/02/09 - 11:42 am
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Many Black politicians are
Unpublished

Many Black politicians are failing their communities and the evidence is clear. They have such gatherings, but they don't provide effective opportunities to address results i.e. higher graduation rates, less wrongful convictions, more programs for teens, and more job opportunities. YES! America elected a minority president, but what does it mean? Non-Minority: "Ya see, we are not racist and color doesn't matter." Minority: "They" gonna use this to create further economical distance, and closet racist are energized" so, these politicians must work harder to address racial disparities in economics, employment, and federal contracts. And watch out for "their" legal tricks like the 'ol bribery on tape bit and learn to set goals that can be measured, not just talked about.

bone
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bone 01/02/09 - 11:55 am
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So convictions that are

So convictions that are legitimate are alright with you if a black person is guilty? Has a white person ever said, "I wish less blacks were high school graduates?" Which generation of teens had "programs" that helped more than both parents who were involved in raising the children? Who doesn't have a job opportunity? What is the point of your post, justus4?

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 12:17 pm
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Bone what are you talking

Bone what are you talking about? The good old Boy system is not about race but about connection. You will never be able to 100% do away with that system but when you pull applications based solely on the merits of the applicants, then you have a better chance at equality.

bone
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bone 01/02/09 - 12:27 pm
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I completely agree with you,

I completely agree with you, hypo! Only the merits of the applicant as a potential employee should matter, not the race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. I can't agree completely with discounting connections, though; sometimes a person needs to be able to network in order to allow others to draw conclusions about his/her potential. in my own case, i have certainly used my connections to put myself in a position to get a better job - but i think my work ability is what secured me the position and allowed me to enjoy the fruits of my social connections.

christian134
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christian134 01/02/09 - 02:41 pm
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Hypo the "good ole' boy

Hypo the "good ole' boy system originated in the South to characterize certain sections of white society i.e. judicial, religious or political affiliations...Whether anyone wants to acknowledge it or not it was and is still frequently used in derogatory usage when applied to a certain race of people...There happens to be all sorts of phraseology used to denigrate many different races...The black race seems to be more highly insulted than other races...We have had to absorb or just do as our parents taught many of us...ignore it...Unfortunately we all have ignored to the point that only one race of people deserve special treatment instead of blending in with the rest of us "mutts" who happen to be Americans...Just plain Americans who are just trying to live and raise our families with as little conflict as possible...So once again I say to the groups and those who insist on stirring the race pot a great huge BYE...

whitescorpion
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whitescorpion 01/02/09 - 03:07 pm
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When Obama and his ilk are

When Obama and his ilk are done, we will all be enslaved... white and black alike.

whitescorpion
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whitescorpion 01/02/09 - 03:12 pm
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BTW I think whoever wrote the

BTW I think whoever wrote the title for this article is a GD idiot. Electing a Chicago thug who happens to be HALF black didn't make America "freer." What a stupid thing to say. BTW the only thing you see now a days in the media is black black black black black black black blah blah blah blah... O.K. we get it, Osama is black, get over it already.

mable8
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mable8 01/02/09 - 03:47 pm
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Well, I must say that the

Well, I must say that the statement: "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." rings a familiar bell! So what is the 'black' community going to do about black-on-black crime? I have heard such innuendos many times over the years and am still waiting to see what IS being done about the problem. Exactly what does Rev. Grier mean when he says "We've go to to our share as well?" The only thing I have heard is that the "white folks" cause all the "black folks" problems; where is your sense of responsibility????? And BTW, Obama did not grow up impoverished or neglected; his white grandmother saw to that.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 01/02/09 - 03:56 pm
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What is the white community

What is the white community going to do about all of these white kids shooting us the schools? What a stupid statement to make. There is no such thing as Black on Black crime. You may have a suspect that happens to be Black and a Victim that happens to be Black. That is it. What in the hell do you think people say when a BLACK OR WHITE person is shot by someone White? Could have been a lost worst, could have been shot by a Black person? Man!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/02/09 - 04:14 pm
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Hypo, there is such a term as

Hypo, there is such a term as black on black crime. Law enforcment agencies use these terms, black on white, white on black, white on white, and black on black. It's a terminology used in statistical analysis.

Lorraine
140
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Lorraine 01/02/09 - 06:07 pm
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Mable8 get a life in 2009 and

Mable8 get a life in 2009 and tend to white folks' problems!

Tujeez1
0
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Tujeez1 01/02/09 - 06:12 pm
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free atlas! free atlas! thank

free atlas! free atlas! thank cod-all-nighty a free atlas!

Tujeez1
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Tujeez1 01/02/09 - 06:15 pm
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Lorraine, If the

Lorraine, If the "African-American Community" would see to it that we did not suffer from your problems, I firmly believe we could tend to ours. Police your own or suffer policing from outside forces.

bailmeout2
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bailmeout2 01/02/09 - 07:49 pm
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We Asians are laughing at all

We Asians are laughing at all of you. In 2 generations we were able to become the group with the highest per capita income, and the group with the highest number of post graduate degrees. Most of us came to this country with nothing, opened businesses, sent children to law school, medical school, graduate school, through the so called atrocious public school system. Take responsibility and stop whining. Open a book, study for the SAT. Who gives a crap what Susie Q wore to the formal and made out with the quarterback. All without Affirmative Action.

mable8
2
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mable8 01/03/09 - 01:44 am
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Lorraine: Yes it is 2009; so

Lorraine: Yes it is 2009; so why are you still crying over dead issues and start policing your own back yard...get a grip lady!

usafveteran
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usafveteran 01/06/09 - 11:21 am
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As an amateur historian, I

As an amateur historian, I believe what these folks should be celebrating is December 31, 1865, the date when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was passed which made slavery illegal.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves--it was merely a politicial document designed to prevent European recognition of the Confederate States.

If one were to read that document, one would learn that the proclamation only applied to those areas of the country which were controlled by the Confederacy (where Lincoln had no authority) and not to those areas that were loyal to the Union war effort. Slaves in Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware and other loyal Union states were exempt from the proclamation as well as those area under Union military control.

It is well and good that these folks should celebrate their Emancipation but the more correct date should be when the 13th amendment was passed on 31 December 1865.

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