Public Program- James O. and Lois E. Horton

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 7:00pm to Friday, May 13, 2011 - 6:45pm

The Hortons

"Liberty and Justice for All: The Civil War as Blacks' Second American Revolution"
by James O. and Lois E. Horton

African Americans saw the Civil War as the second American Revolution. The Revolution brought freedom to the North, but slavery gained strength in the South during the nineteenth century. Black abolitionists argued that the Declaration of Independence expressed the nation's values and that slavery was incompatible those values. In this lecture, James O. and Lois E. Horton will explore the ways blacks mobilized to effect the changes that they sought. During the increasingly militant 1850s, African Americans formed unofficial militias to prepare themselves for an anticipated conflict. At first rejected as soldiers by the federal government, about 200,000 blacks eventually fought in the Civil War, insisting it was a war for freedom, turning the tide of the war, and helping fulfill the promise of the American Revolution.

James Oliver Horton is the Benjamin Banneker Professor Emeritus of American Studies and History at George Washington University. Lois E. Horton is professor of history emerita at George Mason University in Virginia, where she was also on the faculties of Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, and the Honors Program. The Hortons have co-authored numerous scholarly studies, including Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory (2006); Slavery and the Making of America (2004); Hard Road to Freedom: The Story of African America (2001); In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860 (1997); and Black Bostonians: Family Life and Community Struggle in the Antebellum North (1979; 1999). Both of them have had distinguished careers in teaching and public history. They are currently in residence at the American Antiquarian Society as the Mellon Distinguished Scholars where they are primarily working on a project titled "A Documentary History of African Americans from 1619 to the Civil War." This book will be part of the Oxford University Press "Pages in History" series.

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