Happy Emancipation Day DC!

Click here for a list of events this week, commemorating Washington, D.C. ending slavery.

And listen here to Joint Center Interim President and CEO, Spencer Overton, on NewsOneNow discuss Senator Jim DeMint’s recent comments on the government’s role in freeing the slaves.

Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God. – Senator DeMint

Morgan McLeod is the Program Assistant and New Media Strategist at the Joint Center