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150 years of freedom



Published: Wed, January 2, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Valley residents celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation

photo

The Rev. Dr. Lewis W. Macklin II leads the congregation in worship during the annual Emancipation Proclamation and Installation Service, which was Tuesday at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Youngstown. State Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland was the main speaker.

By Sean Barron

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The sacrifices of countless slaves more than 150 years ago have made life a lot easier for many black people today, but that still leaves no room for complacency, a state legislator and workers’ rights advocate from Cleveland says.

“We owe our foreparents a debt we can’t repay, but at least we should make a down payment,” state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland said during Tuesday’s annual Emancipation Proclamation and Installation Service at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 707 Arlington St. on the North Side.

Turner was keynote speaker for the 2 Ω-hour morning gathering, which recognized and celebrated the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. The historic document abolished the legalization of slavery, set many slaves free and led to the enactment of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

Hosting the service, themed “The Gracious Favor of Almighty God,” were the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Youngstown & Vicinity and the Baptist Pastor’s Council of Youngstown & Vicinity.

Turner noted that many “headliners,” including people such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, led to the document’s signing by having laid the foundation for something greater than themselves.

The decree freed slaves in the South as well as in territories still rebelling against the government, but did little for thousands of slaves in bordering states such as Missouri, Maryland and Kentucky, she explained.

Nevertheless, Turner said, it provided the groundwork for the successes of many black leaders.

“The Emancipation Proclamation laid the foundation so mother Rosa Parks could sit, and Dr. [Martin Luther] King could walk and President Obama could run,” she said to applause.

Turner used a wishbone, a jawbone and a backbone as metaphors for maintaining hope, having the courage to speak for what’s right and standing up for what’s just and fair. She urged the hundreds who attended the service to do all three.

“On this 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we all still need to be emancipated,” said the Rev. Jim Ray, former pastor of Youngstown State University’s Campus Protestant Ministry.

The Rev. Mr. Ray noted that it’s just as important today to stand up to injustice and hatred as it was when King spoke on the urgency of people of all races and cultures to live peaceably with one another.

The Rev. Kenneth L. Simon, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, said that many blacks have made strides but still face major challenges such as being victims of predatory lending practices and unwittingly depositing money in banks that fail to invest in their communities.

In addition, many young black entrepreneurs still find it difficult to secure funding to start businesses, he continued.

The gathering also included a presentation by Jaladah Aslam, who was the recipient of this year’s Powell Heritage Award, named after the late Rev. Elizabeth Powell, founding pastor of the World Fellowship Interdenominational Church and a longtime social-justice and human-rights advocate.

Aslam, vice chairwoman of the Community Mobilization Coalition and president of the Youngstown/Warren Black Caucus, received the honor in recognition of her work in the labor movement and politics.

Aslam, who’s also in her second four-year term as vice chairwoman of labor with the Mahoning County Democratic Party, urged attendees to exercise their right to vote in major and minor elections.

Others who made remarks and read from Scripture during Tuesday’s service were: the Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II, pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and the event’s worship leader; the Rev. Dr. Robin Woodberry, New Bethel’s assistant pastor; Marcia Walker, chaplain of the Youngstown Police Department; and the Rev. Eric U. Brown, pastor of Community Church of God in Campbell.


Comments

1Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

"In addition, many young black entrepreneurs still find it difficult to secure funding to start businesses, he continued."

I would love to see examples of this. If anything the black entrepreneurs have more advantage then any other race in starting up a business. Some examples would be nice.

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2zz3(921 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

never being satisfied leaves the door open for further drama which seems to drive some people forever

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3DwightK(1236 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

"The Rev. Mr. Ray noted that it’s just as important today to stand up to injustice and hatred as it was when King spoke on the urgency of people of all races and cultures to live peaceably with one another."

That injustice and hatred extends to those in the community who prey upon one another and cause the deterioration of our community. If people feel intimidated by thugs and gangs and fee like prisoners in their own homes, they are being victimized by those who live in the community. Violence and the threat of violence must be addressed so that communities can flourish. Not taking advantage of education opportunities and droppping out to pursue life as a criminal leads directly to injustice and hatred. The community needs to stand up against this intimidation and violence and sweep the streets clean.

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4commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Dwight -- well stated and true. If the people in the community don't stand up WHY should the people outside of their neighborhood do it??

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5georgejeanie(766 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

I wish a person from the black neighborhoods would please explain to me how the people from the Middle East can come into the black neighborhoods and open up a small grocery store and seem to make a good living from these type stores. Where are the black entrepreneurs who could do the same thing. Please, what am I missing?

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6fattynskinny(195 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

blah, blah blah...poor me....get over it

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7walter_sobchak(1847 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

The Emancipation Proclamation is a misunderstood document that had more importance politically than anything else. It only freed the slaves in those states and territories that were in rebellion against the Union. There were the border states that it didn't apply to and there were specific areas in rebel states that were under Union control in which it did not apply. If, betweeen Sept. 1862 and Jan. 1, 1863, if a rebel state would have rejoined the Union, the slaves in that state would not have been free. However, Lincoln knew that the rebel states hated him and would never have abandoned the Confederacy. So, using his war powers as he deemed necessary, he issued this document that had very little practical effect at the time. Now, if people of color want to use the document as an inspiration to improve their lot in life or human condition, that is great. But, actions speak louder than words. Your actions speak so loudly about who you are that I can hardly hear what you are saying.

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8isaac45(261 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

not surprising, first seven comments all negative...nothing celebrating america, nothing celebrating our greatest president ever...typical vindicator comment board...scum

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9Ianacek(889 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Walter says : "Your actions speak so loudly about who you are that I can hardly hear what you are saying." ( a paraphrase from Ralph Waldo Emerson's best known anti slavery address in 1844 )
Had Walter LOOKED as well as Listened he would not have missed the quiet ACTION of civil disobedience by Rosa Parks in 1955 when she refused to move to the back of the bus.
In doing so , she reaffirmed the Constitution & reinforced the freedoms Walter & all Americans enjoy today .

Walter has at least stepped onto the bridge , even if he hasn't crossed it .
With the first 6 commentators , their comments are all best paraphrased as "Please Ma'am . Move to the back of the bus".

The irony is that , in reasonably prosperous mixed race communities elsewhere in the USA , the comments made in celebration of the Emcipation Proclamation would be seen as unremarkable .

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10Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

issac

"not surprising, first seven comments all negative.."

Not negative, but the truth. Instead of celebrating something that happened 150 years ago, which the blacks still complain today how they are treated, be held accountable for your actions. They have tons of opportunities, more then any other race. So tired of the same old same old excuses. The 1st HOMICIDE of 2013 says it all. Your suppose to forget the past and move forward in life, not backwards. Quit the blaming!

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11kurtw(844 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

The sad part of all of this is that Black Americans have embraced their mortal enemy- the Democrats. Blacks vote overwhelmingly for that party- over ninety per cent- and- for anyone who cares to study the record- Democrats supported Slavery, they invented the Klan, they supported Jim Crow, they blocked equal treatment for Blacks at every turn.

Why would you support your worst enemy? That's the mystery.

The only antidote to repeating your past mistakes is to study history.

African-Americans ought to study the history of the party they support and draw the logical conclusion that their best interests lie in looking elsewhere.

The only problem is that the logical alternative- the Republicans: the party of Lincoln, the party that opposed Slavery, opposed Jim Crow, etc- has been so effectively demonized by the Dems and their Media Helpers- that endorsing them is sure to invoke derision.

The Civil Rights Legislation of the Sixties would not have been possible without over-whelming Republican support. The Dems were Luke-warm, half-hearted as always- but, once enacted, naturally, they claimed all the credit.

People who refuse to learn from history are doomed to failure.

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12kurtw(844 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

re: post about why Middle Easterners are running Save-a- Step stores in black neighborhoods and not blacks themselves- I have a simple answer: Family Values.

Middle-easterners (whatever you may think of their screwball religion) have strong family structures- everyone working together, mom, dad (actually married to each other- think of that!), extended family, etc. and with that kind of support, naturally, they prosper.

Every ethnic group in this country that has prospered has done so as a result of family (not Government!)- all the immigrants from Europe rose up because of family support.

What do you have, by comparison, among African-Americans? Eighty per cent of black babies are born to single women on welfare.

It doesn't have to be that way. It's not because of Slavery. In the 1950's the black illegitimacy rate was roughly that of white's- extremely low for both groups. It skyrocketed in the late sixties for both groups- especially blacks. Why is that?

Well, in the sixties you had the introduction of a welfare system and a whole culture that encouraged irresponsibility and dysfunctional behavior. If we manage to overcome that, it will by by "the skin of our teeth".

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13nupanther(23 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

To the majority of posters (especially lifes2short)-
Gotta agree w/Isaac. This article was about 1/2 page long in the vindy, but most people jumped on 1 sentence. Instead of focusing on the celebration of the emancipation proclamation, most posters jumped on 1 line

Also, the theme from the posters sounds like "forget the past", however that's the opposite of kurtw, who used examples of how dems/repubs stood on slavery,Jim crows laws,etc. Back then poor southern whites made up the democratic party, which was the party of oppression. Over the decades, there was a switch. Look at the voting records of all the states in the presidential elections over the years. States with heavy black populations voted for Romney and McCain, while states with scant black populations (New England) went to Obama

A bit off topic, to all the people who say "drop-out and welfare people voted in Obama", do a search on which in EACH & EVERY state group Obama carried.... It was people with post graduate degrees OVERWHELMINGLY" ( maybe thats why he carried 8 out of 10 precincts in Poland)

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14Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

nu

"Instead of focusing on the celebration of the emancipation proclamation, most posters jumped on 1 line"

One line?

"“We owe our foreparents a debt we can’t repay, but at least we should make a down payment,”

A down payment for what? The slaves are the ones that suffered the most and today's blacks act like they were the ones that did all the suffering. Instead of always complaining about everything and always making excuses, be held accountable. There are tons of successful black people. How come they don't ever complain? Called being responsible!

"“The Emancipation Proclamation laid the foundation so mother Rosa Parks could sit, and Dr. [Martin Luther] King could walk and President Obama could run,” she said to applause."

What makes these individuals different? They did something with there lives instead of doing nothing.

"The Rev. Mr. Ray noted that it’s just as important today to stand up to injustice and hatred as it was when King spoke on the urgency of people of all races and cultures to live peaceably with one another."

And the blacks are the biggest racists against whites. King never envisioned this.

"“On this 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we all still need to be emancipated,”

Is he saying that blacks are still restricted and being slaves? Really? Give me examples.

"many blacks have made strides but still face major challenges such as being victims of predatory lending practices and unwittingly depositing money in banks that fail to invest in their communities."

Just blacks? Really? Examples please.

Want me to go on?

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