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Bells Ring Out in Southampton for Emancipation

Southampton Village celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Simultaneously Saturday afternoon, all the church bells in Southampton Village rang to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln's executive order during the Civil War to free the slaves in Confederate territory.

On the corner of Main Street and Jobs Lane, in front of the First Presbyterian Church, many residents gathered with handbells to participate in the celebration. The group then shuffled into the church for a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by local clergy, a performance by the church bell choir, and a brief Watch Night service performed by African American Museum of the East End director Brenda Simmons and Dwayne Kerr, the flutist for Erykah Badu. According to the Southampton Historical Museum, Watch Night service in the African-American community began with slaves gathering in churches on New Year's Eve in 1862 to await news of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

A roundtable discussion led by Carol T. Spencer, the founder of Diaspora Books, followed across the street at the Southampton Historical Museum's Rogers Mansion. A panel of historians and authors discussed the meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation and how it affected the nation and its citizens.

Then Simmons led an evening of jazz and poetry at the Rogers Mansion.

Roger Blaugh January 07, 2013 at 01:33 PM
I hope that everyone sees the movie "Lincoln" now playing at local movie theaters. It's timing for release is ideal, given this celebration. And it is historically correct in its account of the last 4 months of Lincoln's life, including the passage of the 13th Amendment and references to the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln tells a beautiful and equally sad story of a segment in America's history that is all too frequently forgotten. The similarities to our present Congress are alarming. Don't miss it!
Gene Henley January 07, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Did anyone actually read this "Emancipation" Proclamation? Gene Henley
christie nicolle January 07, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Roger, is it true that Lincoln offered to send back the slaves to Africa? If so, what happened? Have not seen the film... did they mention his crazy wife predicting his assassination??
Voice January 10, 2013 at 02:25 AM
If you missed the Sat. 150th Emancipation Event stay tuned and check out SEA-TV they filmed the event. The panel discussion excellent lead by Carol Spencer; it was intriguing, informative, and great conversation. It's time to continue the conversation.
Voice January 10, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Btw Has anyone REALLY read the Emancipation Proclamation? It was read and passed out at Saturday's event. The document clearly specifies freedom was ONLY designated for specific areas. I will say it was a good start, but it;s important to know the REAL DEAL.

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