UNDATED, Miss. (WCBI)-With the stroke of a pen 150 years ago Tuesday (1-1), President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing a half million slaves.
A Lowndes County politician has a perspective on that historical period that changed the course of the Civil War.
Given the status on the First of January 1863 of there being a divided country, the signature of our 16th president on this document is seen by many as a gutsy move.
“You know to be a politician and to make that bold stroke was certainly a work of courage and changed the course of history,” said Leroy Brooks, Lowndes County Supervisor.
Without the benefit of modern technology like computers, ipads, and iphones, communication was slow.
Word of Negro freedom would not reach The Friendly City until the 8th of May, years later.
“Because in Mississippi some communities did not know until then. Now even in Columbus there is an 8th of May celebration. The Episcopalian Church, the 8th of May Luncheon. There is a community group that celebrates the 8th of May,” sdaid Brooks.
In Texas Union General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston with the news of freedom.
“The word got to different sections at different times. And people consequently celebrated them according to the time they received it,” said Brooks.
Brooks reefers to slavery as a nightmarish event in the annuls of American history, that needed political and moral intervention.
“But again, it is, thank God for Abraham Lincoln and having the courage to do that,” added Brooks.
With the release of the recent motion picture “Lincoln”, there is a renewed sort of romanticism of that time period in our not so distant past.