Thursday is going to be a big day for legal history -- there's the Harvard Journal of Gender and Law's discussion of congressional power and sex equality and Tera Hunter's lecture on slavery and marriage here at UNC. And over at North Carolina Central School of Law there is a day-long symposium on "The Emancipation Proclamation at 150: Freedom Delayed Then and Now?”
While I've been working a lot of late on the jursprudence of the slave-owning class (such as how they justified the institution of slavery through appeals to history and economics and how those arguments relate to their judicial decisions and statutes), I'm delighted to say that I'm going to be talking about a much more optimistic topic: how enslaved people thought about freedom and slavery and how their ideas and actions led to the undoing of slavery. That is, I'm going to be looking at the anti-slavery response to the law of slavery and the social reality of it, as well. This taps into a topic of long-standing interest to me: how ideas -- particularly those promulgated through books -- helped free our nation. David Walker's Appeal and Minutes and Proceedings of the First Annual Convention of the People of Colour will figure prominently in this story -- and probably Henry Louis Gates' Race, Writing, and Difference as well....
The program is as follows:
9:10-9:40 Chancellor Charles L. Becton, North Carolina Central University
9:40-11:00 The Emancipation Proclamation: Origins and Meaning
Introduction of Speakers by Ms. Graddick, North Carolina Central University C’2013
Alfred Brophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law, "Enslaved People and The Relationship of Their Ideas And Dreams Of Freedom to the Writing of the Emancipation"
Brenda Reddix-Smalls, North Carolina Central University School of Law, "The Emancipation Proclamation, Runaways and Maroons in 19th Century America: Geopolitical Military Strategies vs. Liberation Struggles"
Lunch and Discussion, The Emancipation and Aftermath as Depicted in Film
Introductions Ms. Cheri Hamilton, North Carolina Central University School of Law, C’2013
Contemporary Aspects of the Emancipation Proclamation: Freedom Delayed Now?
Irving Joyner, North Carolina Central University School of Law
John Brittain, Charles Hamilton Houston Chair for 2013, North Carolina Central University School of Law
Myths and Misunderstandings about the Emancipation Proclamation
Dr. Fred Parker, History Department, North Carolina Central University