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Contact: Kim Coons, 423-752-5213 x139
Fort Oglethorpe, GA: On Monday, June 19, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, in partnership with the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, will present a free, 45 minute program on emancipation and its legacy in Chattanooga at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 East Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chattanooga, TN 37403. The doors open at 5 pm, and the formal program begins at 5:30 pm.
In late November 1863, the Confederate Army retreated from the heights surrounding Chattanooga, leaving in its wake a city firmly in Union hands. Almost immediately, African Americans began pouring into Chattanooga seeking the promise of emancipation under the United States flag. However, President Abraham Lincoln excluded the state of Tennessee in the Emancipation Proclamation, leaving the fate of thousands hanging in the balance. This program will explore this tumultuous transition from enslavement, to emancipation, and beyond in Chattanooga.