Guest / Limited Access /
Page 2 of 2

Before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln had a different view on what to do with the U.S. slave population. What did he suggest to black ministers?

He invited five black ministers to the White House in the summer of 1862 and he basically said, "If it weren't for your people, we wouldn't have this war." He tried to recruit them into an effort to lead colonization. These prominent ministers would lead their people and, with the aid of the government, would take them back to Africa to Liberia or to Haiti. Everyone in the abolitionist movement was absolutely stunned by this. Once he had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, he never mentioned it again.

As the country marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, what message do you hope viewers will walk away with after seeing your series?

I think it's really a testament to the power of the individual. These characters were up against overwhelming odds. In hindsight, it seems like the end of slavery was inevitable, but it was in fact about the most unlikely thing in the world. And a very small set of people set this vortex in motion, which eventually swept up the country and changed our history for the better. It really is so easy to lose sight of the fact that if you're dedicated enough and if you have a clear vision of something right and true that you can, in fact, effect change.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueDo We Really Need More Breast Cancer "Awareness"?
Subscriber Access Only
Do We Really Need More Breast Cancer "Awareness"?
Information gets us only so far on the road to health.
RecommendedThe Secret Religion of the Slaves
Subscriber Access Only The Secret Religion of the Slaves
They often risked floggings to worship God.
TrendingResearch Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
Research Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
A study of 250 congregations suggests that youth and young adults want substance rather than style.
Editor's PickOld Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
Old Hollywood’s Abortion Secret
What a culture of death tells us about a culture of life.
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
PBS Series Depicts American Abolitionists as Fired by Faith