Poetry & Readings – The Moral Arc Toward Freedom: Lincoln, King, and the Emancipation Proclamation

Join us for a lively program to mark the launch of a new temporary exhibit at the New York State Museum.

The exhibit will showcase Abraham Lincoln’s preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation (Sept. 22, 1862), the only surviving Proclamation document in Lincoln’s own hand, and an audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering a speech on the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation in New York City in September 1962.

The program will feature poetry, readings of brief excerpts of historical documents, and a conversation with the audience about the complicated legacy of slavery and emancipation in the United States.

Patricia Spears Jones, a major force of the New York City poetry scene since the 1970s, is the reigning State Poet of New York (2023-25), by proclamation of the Governor and mandate of the Legislature, under the auspices of the NYS Writers Institute.
Jennifer Burns, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Africana Studies at the University at Albany.
Jennifer Lemak, Ph.D., is Chief Curator of History at the NYS Museum.

Cosponsored by the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education and the Archives Partnership Trust in honor of African American History Month.


Feb 15 2024


7:00 pm - 8:15 pm


Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum
222 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12202
NYS Writers Institute


NYS Writers Institute