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Dale Rich Collection presents movie and lecture to celebratae Emancipation Proclamation

Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman in “Glory”

Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman in “Glory”

DETROIT — To celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary, the Dale Rich Collection will present a screening and lecture of the movie “Glory” and a discussion of the Civil War soldier Joseph Proctor July 17 from 5-8 p.m. in the Friends Auditorium at the Detroit Public Library.

Re-enactors of Frederick Douglass and his wife will read the Emancipation Proclamation and a letter from May 1, 1863, written by Detroit-born Corporal Joseph J. Proctor of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (Colored) to his wife, Winnie.

The infantry served extensively in the Union Army during the Civil War and was one of the first official African American units.

“We are not looked upon as men because we as a race have never done anything for our own freedom, own rights, own liberty like the white men of this country because we have never had a chance … until now,” wrote Proctor in one of his letters.

“The young men of color who do not come and show to the world that they as a race are entitled to the same rights and liberties which other men enjoy are not worthy to be called men.”

Proctor was a casualty of the Battle of Fort Wagner, which is depicted in the film “Glory.”

“I enlisted in the Army to be a man and to help show to the world that the race to which I belong are men and entitled to be respected as such,” Proctor wrote to Winnie.

“And if should die on the battlefield, what prouder words could you say than your husband died for … freedom.”

A lecture and Q-and-A session led by Dr. Wallace Peace, professor of history at Wayne County Community College District, will follow the film at 7:30 p.m. There is free parking in the library parking lot on Putnam Street.

The Dale Rich Collection is also presenting “Thenceforward and Forever Free, the Emancipation Proclamation” at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library.

The multi-media exhibit features paintings, photos and other materials that illustrate the road from slavery to freedom, and to Reconstruction and beyond.

For more information, call 313.481.1300 or e-mail

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