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Historian Allida Black Talks About Emancipation, Lincoln & Eleanor Roosevelt

April 13, 2015

What would the United States be like had President Lincoln lived? How have leaders such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Hilary Clinton been influenced by Lincoln’s policies and ideals?

Those are but some of the questions David Bruce Smith and Hope Katz Gibbs posed to historian Allida Black, a Research Professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University.

She is ask the founding editor of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, a project designed to preserve, teach and apply Eleanor Roosevelt’s writings and discussions of human rights and democratic politics.

Black is also the 2001 Person of Vision Award from the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women — and the James A Jordan Award for Outstanding Dedication and Excellence in Teaching from Penn State University. And, she has written teachers’ guides for PBS documentaries — and served as an advisor to other documentaries prepared for the History Channel, A&E, and the Discovery Channel.

Most recently, with reserve police officer Adam Parkhomenko, Black cofounded Ready for Hillary a super pack that as raised more than $4 million in the event that Clinton jumps into the 2016 presidential race.

In this podcast interview, Smith and Gibbs take Black back to the Lincoln era and the start of emancipation. They ask her:

1. As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of SELMA, and the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, how do you think Reconstruction/emancipation would have played out if Lincoln had lived?

2. How do think Lincoln would assess “emancipation” today? And, had he lived, how would the civil rights movement have played out differently?

3. As an expert on Eleanor Roosevelt, what do you think she learned from Lincoln? What would she ask him if she could have consulted with him?

4. How have Roosevelt, and other powerful political leaders such as Hilary Clinton, put Lincoln’s ideas into action during their time in power?

5. Talk about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What impact is it having, and how has it been influenced by Lincoln?

6. What do you think Americans can do today to honor the beliefs of Lincoln’s views on civil rights?

7. And our last question applies directly to the mission of David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation — what is the best way to teach kids about civil rights?

Find out all about it–and more–on the Grateful American ™ TV Show.