National Abolition
Hall of Fame
and Museum
National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum
Second Abolition

Drea Finley's Keynote Speech- MLK Day 2013- Colgate University

Drea Finley


In 1874 Frederick Douglass claimed that ‘our work is not done.’ “Liberty,” he said, “came to the freedmen of the United States, not in mercy, but in wrath, not by moral choice, but by military necessity.” Black freedom was a legal fact, not a moral fact. Emancipation was accomplished by force, not moral conviction. The second and ongoing stage of the abolition movement must affirm cultural diversity and opportunity by moral conviction. The tones of abolition must resonate into this century as clearly as they did in the 19thand 20thcenturies by Smith and his associates. Peterboro has the credentials to be the study center of this second unfulfilled stage of abolition.


Dear HISTORIANS AGAINST SLAVERY Colleagues Hither and Yon:
Please read this carefully. It's really important:
Historians Against Slavery is on the cusp of being able to give its members significant financial support.
These are funds to support programming on individual campuses, support travel and research, underwrite regional projects and develop demonstration projects in partnership with other institutions.
Without ever charging membership fees, we're very well positioned to be doing all this in a significant way by the end of 2012.

Because HAS has developed so strongly in its "start up" phase that we're generating surprisingly strong national interest and lots of attention from people who have the potential to benefit us significantly. We can now take full advantage of this moment of  strong momentum.

Because HAS itself has NO overhead costs.What other organization can make that claim? All incoming funds go straight to programming, We epitomize 'FREE LABOR" in a way that Abe Lincoln never conceived of. This makes us very attractive to potential underwriters..

The key to taking this next crucial step is to make the Historians Against Slavery Website a flourishing engine for educating and organizing--- particularly its LIBERATOR component.

Once we confirm that Historians Against Slavery is sustained by a strong, vital, national membership network, we become even more attractive to foundations and private donors.

A much-enriched, empowered HAS will result, but what's paramount is how we get there-- by educating and by organizing ourselves..  

So this is what we need is for you, and just as important if you're a faculty member, for your students, to make our website come alive as a powerful engine for informing, educating, provoking and organizing:

Get on the site yourself, sign in, and make your presence known.

Invite your students to join you in opening a LIBERATOR forum topic or interest group, or simply by joining  in.

In THE LIBERATOR people create and develop forums on any relevant topic and groups around common interests. It's where we report news from our own campuses, comment and exchange views on whatever we want, find common interests, propose projects, spotlight  important antislavery news ---whatever!

Also---Take full advantage of all the antislavery information the website offers-- links to NGOs, syllabi--film links --book suggestions, and more.



This plea / harangue ends now, with my deepest gratitude for your interest and commitment.


James Brewer Stewart
James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus
Macalester College
Coordinator, Historians Against Slavery

National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum

5255 Pleasant Valley Road

PO Box 55

Peterboro N.Y. 13134

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