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Katie Hall Foundation at Lincoln Tomb On July 15

Abraham Lincoln Tomb

Photo caption: Abraham Lincoln Tomb

On Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 1:00 p.m., the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc. will host the “Lincoln Floral Remembrance Ceremony.” The ceremony will be held in the Inner Chamber, Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site at Springfield, Illinois.

The Katie Hall Foundation is a 501©(3) organization which serves as the living memorial to the State of Indiana’s first African-American elected to serve in the United States Congress, The Honorable Katie Hall.

Since 2014, the Foundation has remembered the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States for his role in ending the brutal trade of African slaves in the form of legalized slavery, and for his leadership in preserving the country as one federal governmental unit.

At the onset of the American Civil War, nearly four million enslaved Africans primarily living in the Southern states held a market value estimated at close to $3.5 billion dollars. The totality of this wealth benefitted the slave owners and their families.

Thus, the African slaves, who became citizens of the United States via the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified in July of 1868, were denied for many years during and after their enslavement, the opportunity to pass along money (generational wealth) and posterity to their own descendants, including the African-American youth of today.

Why should we, as Americans of all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds remember President Lincoln in July 2023?

Race based slavery was first introduced on America’s shores in 1619, with the first Africans being brought to the colonies for the purpose of performing menial tasks as instructed by their European captors. For another two hundred years, slavery expanded rapidly due to the Louisiana Purchase, a disregard for the love of humanity, and greed.

President Lincoln must be remembered for both his moral and political courage. As the nation’s Chief Executive, President Lincoln often questioned the moral arc of slavery. He once remarked, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I cannot remember when I did not so think, and feel.”

In putting his words into action, on various occasions President Lincoln spoke out in public against the institution of slavery in political speeches, most notably the “House-Divided” speech where he declared, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free…it will become all one thing, or all the other.”

In his Second Inaugural Address in 1864, President Lincoln proposed the idea of granting the right to vote to newly freed male slaves to show his love for humanity and his fellow-man. This idea enraged many Southern sympathizers, who were fighting for the South in the Civil War to maintain the institution of slavery.

Moreover, as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. referenced in his 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech, President Lincoln gave hope to millions of enslaved Africans by authoring the Emancipation Proclamation.

For the first time in American history, the degrading, economic, and destructive forces behind the nightmare of enslavement ended for some Africans in bondage, the only life they and their forefathers had known for centuries.

The ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865, officially ended legalized slavery for all persons in bondage in America.

Today, as a result of President Lincoln’s moral and political leadership, America remains one country and guarantees the right of freedom for all persons under the law. The physical chains of enslavement are no longer present, but work must continue to be done as a means of ensuring fairness, justice and respect for our fellow man, which should remain at the forefront of the decision making process.

In order to better understand the role of President Lincoln in American history, the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc. is asking those persons traveling to Springfield to view the movie, Emancipation starring actor Will Smith. This feature film was recently shown at Indiana University Northwest by Dr. James Wallace, Director, Office of Diversity, Equity and Mutlicultural Affairs, for the 2023 Juneteenth national holiday celebrations.

The “Lincoln Floral Remembrance Ceremony” is free and open to the public. Persons traveling with the Katie Hall Educational Foundation, Inc. will also visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Old State Capitol Building in Springfield. For more information contact [email protected], or the law office of Attorney John Henry Hall.

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