As part of the McManis Lecture Series, the History Department and the Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics and Economics presented two presentations by Dr. Vernon Burton, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation:
Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Education
Wednesday, February 27
Abraham Lincoln believed that the Emancipation Proclamation was the “central act” of his presidency “and the great event of the nineteenth century.” But actually it was Lincoln’s understanding of liberty that became the greatest legacy of the age. Professor Burton meditates on that legacy with particular attention to its implications for education and reveals how the struggles of the newly freed people remind us that liberty requires education, and education demands liberty.
The Voting Rights Act & the Courts
Thursday, February 28
Although the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act marked a great legislative victory in the struggle for political equality in the United States, it is now increasingly vilified. Professor Burton contends that historians have a responsibility both to the courts and to the general public to explain the history, purpose, and efficacy of the Voting Rights Act. A nationally recognized expert on the history of race relations in America, he has also served as an expert witness in more than 100 discrimination and voting rights cases.
Dr. Vernon Burton is Distinguished Professor of History and Computer Science at Clemson University. His book The Age of Lincoln was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Chicago Tribune Heartland Literary Award for nonfiction. In 1999, Burton was named the U. S. Research and Doctoral University Professor of the Year.