Emancipation Proclamation: Up Close

A National Archives expert told us why African Americans should see the document in person.

Emancipation Proclamation (AFP/Getty); Reginald Washington of National Archives (Alex Wong/Getty)

TR: What’s your most important message to African Americans to know about the document?

RW: I’d encourage them to take any opportunity to view the document themselves.

TR: Why is the experience of seeing it in person important?

RW: It’s very important for people to come see it, particularly young people, because I don’t know how well it’s being taught in school. They get a better perspective of their freedom — how their ancestors toiled during slavery, the impact of their [ancestors’] involvement and being freed and how it impacts [young people] today.

Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root’s staff writer. Follow her on Twitter. Like her on Facebook.