Discussion Post Abraham Lincoln The Great Emancipator


Your initial Discussion post should address everything asked total a minimum of 300 words, which is about 1/2 of a page on a normally formatted Word document. (This is a total word count for your original posting, addressing all questions asked.) Please enter your responses directly in the text box provided inside the discussion tool (do not attached separate documents or other files). Also note the word-count breakdown for each of the four questions asked. After contributing your own post, you must also respond to two of your colleagues’ posts. As per the grading rubric, these responses should be “substantive” replies “expanding the level of discussion.” Do not just write a sentence or two of agreement, approval; rather, give some thoughtful, substantive feedback.


Lincoln the white supremacist or Lincoln “The Great Emancipator”

Watch both parts of the documentary film Looking for Lincoln, by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Then answer the questions listed below for Discussion 3. I advise you to print out, and read over, these questions in advance, so that you will know what to pay attention for while watching the film.

Part I: http://watch.thirteen.org/video/2163789088/

Part II: http://watch.thirteen.org/video/2163789287/

Questions for discussion:

In the documentary Looking for Lincoln, writer Lerone Bennett, Jr. recalls his disillusionment with “The Great Emancipator” who’d been his childhood hero, citing Lincoln’s proposed “compromise” solution to slavery (which had involved the deportation of slaves to colonies in Panama and Liberia) and Lincoln’s failure to contribute anything to the Abolitionist cause prior to the Civil War. Historian David Blight, however, reminds us that it is our own task to define “what is worth remembering” about Lincoln’s story.

1. Historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. has come to the conclusion that “you can’t defend Abraham Lincoln without defending slavery.” Meanwhile, historian David Blight observes that “in order to remember the redemptive, progressive Lincoln, we have to forget about what he said…about racial inequality.” Do you agree with either (or both) of these views, why or why not? How can both sides of Lincoln co-exist in our understanding of him? (min. 100 words)

2. What is the familiar, traditional—and incorrect—perception of Lincoln’s role in freeing the slaves? What was Lincoln’s great fear in issuing an executive order freeing the slaves? Why did Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation NOT free the slaves in the slaveholding border states still loyal to the Union? (min. 100 words)

3. Do you believe that Lincoln’s views on slavery changed because of moral or political reasons, why or why not? (min. 50 words)

4. Do you think Lincoln merits the heroic remembrance as “The Great Emancipator” that he’s traditionally been accorded by the African American community, why or why not? (min. 50 words)

Take this where you will. Please address everything asked.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write me. Take your time and really think about these discussion topics and responses. Do not simply jot down some responses; rather, write in full sentences and use proper punctu


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