#InContext: Harriet Jacobs

By: ARIANA HADDEN For some individuals, freedom is never an option to begin with. They are born into the world without rights, without justice, and without a regard for their dignity. This is the life of Harriet Jacobs. Harriet Ann Jacobs was born into slavery on February 11, 1813 in Edenton, North Carolina. Her father … Continue reading #InContext: Harriet Jacobs

#InContext: Abraham Lincoln

By: MEGAN ABRAMEIT When looking at Abraham Lincoln’s portrait in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., one will notice a few unique features. He is portrayed neither as glorious or powerful like the colorful George Washington portrait but is sitting in his chair, leaning forward with his elbow on his knee, in a position … Continue reading #InContext: Abraham Lincoln

#InContext: Anna Julia Cooper

By: CASSONDRA (Cj) MURPHY Spanning the time from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Anna Julia Cooper’s life was defined by her tireless fight for freedom and equality. Cooper was born into slavery in North Carolina in 1858. Although not allowed to pursue educational opportunities until her ninth birthday — two years after … Continue reading #InContext: Anna Julia Cooper

#InContext: Ralph Waldo Emerson

By: MOLLY WICKER As a young man coming of age during the time of the Civil War, Ralph Waldo Emerson saw firsthand the consequences and destruction of slavery. Emerson was a passionate opponent of slavery and his thoughts on the subject are scattered throughout his essays, speeches, and collected works. Emerson was born on May … Continue reading #InContext: Ralph Waldo Emerson

#InContext: Ta-nehisi Coates

By: TAKIM WILLIAMS The experience of a trafficking victim is largely unaffected by statements written in their government’s database. Likewise, slavery did not end in the United States after it was outlawed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. According to the Slavery Convention of 1926, slavery is “the status or condition of a … Continue reading #InContext: Ta-nehisi Coates

#InContext: Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was a well-respected abolitionist, social activist, orator, and statesman. Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, his story is one of overcoming oppression in order to pave the way for others to do the same. All three of his autobiographies, from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in 1845 to The Life … Continue reading #InContext: Frederick Douglass

#InContext: Theodore Parker & Martin Luther King Jr.

The Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 occurred the year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which did far less to improve the lives of oppressed African Americans than many of them had hoped. In King’s own words at the march, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave Negroes some part of their rightful … Continue reading #InContext: Theodore Parker & Martin Luther King Jr.

#InContext: The Emancipation Proclamation

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as the United States neared its third year of civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” Click here to read the entire Proclamation. Until that point, the North and South … Continue reading #InContext: The Emancipation Proclamation