Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

January 2, 2013

Community reflects on 150th anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation

Pastor Tom Glenn knows that some day all men — black, white, red and yellow — will be treated as equals in the United States.

He knows the struggles black people have faced throughout time will be rewarded.

“There will be glory after our trials, after our tribulations, after the ridicule, after working lesser jobs, after doing the same work for less pay,” Glenn said Tuesday. “We can’t abort our dreams.”

Glenn told those gathered at Fountain of Life Word and Worship Center he wanted to inspire them to continue what Abraham Lincoln set into motion 150 years ago when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

It was the beginning of the end of slavery in this country.

Kokomo City Councilwoman Janie Young said she was thankful Lincoln had the foresight to think that men and women should be free.

“It takes a person with influence to make things happen,” she said. “Our people didn’t have the power to push things forward.”

Lincoln’s actions didn’t come without a price, though.

“Lincoln had people in his ear telling him what it would cost [to sign a declaration ending slavery,]” Pastor James O’Neal said. “It cost him his life.”

City and county leaders, area pastors and members of the local black community gathered Tuesday for a service commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

It’s a day everyone should remember, he said. It’s something adults should be talking to their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews about, O’Neal said.

“This is not a black celebration only,” O’Neal said. “It’s a celebration of these United States of America. This is who we are. It is incumbent upon us to take our rightful stand and give credence to our history — the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers said although slavery was one of the dark parts of U.S. history, the Emancipation Proclamation established to the world what was right and what was wrong.

He didn’t understand the declaration’s true significance to the nation’s black population until Tuesday’s ceremony, though, he said.

“We learned about it from the perspective of the white person,” he said. “I have no idea how you feel. It was a real beginning for you. I hate to say it, but it was the beginning of a battle that continues on.”

Glenn said he remembers growing up in Kokomo and seeing signs that said “No Mexicans.” He knew that as a black man, that sign was meant for him, too.

So although blacks weren’t enslaved anymore, they weren’t treated as equals either, he said.

Over the years, things slowly started changing.

He remembers the first black man elected to the Kokomo Common Council and the first black man hired as a supervisor at Delco Electronics. Glenn grew up when there were only two black officers on the city police department. Then there were three.

Were things better?

Yes, Glenn said. But that’s not enough.

“We don’t want things comfortable,” Glenn said. “We want things equal. We haven’t arrived there yet.”

Getting there won’t be easy.

Glenn said their race should expect warfare. People may throw dirt on them sometimes, he said, but it doesn’t mean they’re dirty.

It’s dirt that helps plants grow. It, too, will help people grow, he said.

He encouraged those gathered at the commemoration to remain hopeful and patient.

When Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream didn’t come true immediately, people lost hope.

“We had to experience the slavery,” he said. “We had to experience hatred. We had to go through the experience of people telling us we’re not human. But through all that, God had a set time. Our set time has come.”

It’s not time for people to faint, he said. It’s time to start pushing.

But Glenn said his people can only start pushing when they stop killing each other, when they get rid of the crack houses and when they go to school and acquire an education.

He asked the people not to give up.

His words were greeted with an “Amen” from the crowd.

The group stood to their feet to sing Jame Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

“Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,” the people crooned. “Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; facing the sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents organize outreach for fire victims Josh and Courtney Justice lost everything they owned Tuesday afternoon after a fire ravaged their home in Indian Heights. The community has been reaching out to help replace some of what was destroyed. Just hours after the blaze displaced the Justice

    July 23, 2014

  • Man jailed on sex charge Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old. Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on the

    July 23, 2014

  • Indiana Veterans Hall of Fame seeks nominations INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new hall of fame for Indiana military veterans is seeking nominations for its first class of inductees. The Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame says it expects to induct the first honorees around Veterans Day at Fort Benjamin

    July 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers approve pair of new license plates INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A panel of state lawmakers approved new license plates recognizing the Indy 500 and Abraham Lincoln under a new system clamping down on the number of special license plates on the road. Members of the Legislature's transportation

    July 23, 2014

  • Ivy Tech job fair Jobs for the future With an aging workforce, Duke Energy Corp. finds itself in a precarious position.The primary electrical power provider for Kokomo and adjacent counties, Duke Energy is the first line of defense when residents are left in the dark after storms and oth

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - KT072214 - Ryan Ledbetter mugshot - CLG Bunker Hill councilman Ryan Ledbetter arrested for firing gun

    BUNKER HILL — A member of the Bunker Hill Town Council was arrested Saturday after police say he broke a no-contact order with his children’s mother and fired a gun inside a trailer park near Peru.Indiana State Police responded to the Woodland Hill t

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indian Heights fire 01 [Duplicate] Fire engulfs Indian Heights home

    Josh Justice left his house and went to get a haircut Tuesday afternoon. When he came back, his house was destroyed. Firefighters said it was likely a propane-tank explosion inside an RV parked beside his house that caused severe fire damage to Justi

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Apollo 11 program at library Kokomo High School graduates Greg McCauley and Dave Hudson will present a 60-minute, graphic-rich multimedia lecture called Earth to the Moon: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The lecture will be at the

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS - KT072314 - Kareen Dunn Kareen Dunn sentenced to 18 years for non-fatal shooting A Kokomo man charged in a 2012 shooting on East Mulberry Street pleaded guilty to an aggravated battery charge and was sentenced last week to 18 years. After accepting the guilty plea of Kareen Dunn, Howard Superior Court 4 Judge George Hopkins sente

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.