Frazier and Johnson speak at Changing America Seminar

Seminar: Changing America. On September 17th as part of the Changing America exhibit at Miami University Middletown, professors Nishani Frazier and Martin Johnson spoke at the Changing America Seminar. The Changing America exhibit seeks to help the public understand the similarities between the movements that led up to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the March on Washington in 1963.

Dr. Johnson spoke on "The Emancipation Proclamation in History and Memory," and focused on the proclamation’s role in President Lincoln’s larger plan—articulated in the Gettysburg address—to create “a new birth of freedom.” Dr. Frazier followed, and spoke on "The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." She emphasized that the march was more than Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Audience questions ranged from the legacy of the Civil War to the causes and extent of racism today. 

Dr. Johnson said he and the other organizers “all hope the students left the event recognizing connections between the struggles of 1863, 1963, and the continuing work for justice and equality today.” About 30 students, faculty, and staff attended the event.

Various other programs connected with the Changing America exhibit will take place until September 30th, and the exhibit will continue to be displayed in the Gardner-Harvey Library until October 15th. The Changing America exhibit is a national travelling exhibit presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office.