Gain a better understanding of the legacy and hope of emancipation and explore the Black experience in Iowa’s history from early farmsteads through the 20th-century fight for civil rights. Expert presenters include Dr. Valerie Grim (Indiana University) on the hope Iowa offered and the reality it presented in the years following emancipation, author David Connon on the Underground Railroad in Iowa, Judge Odell McGhee on the National Bar Association (begun in Des Moines when Black attorneys were barred from the American Bar Association), and retired Iowa Supreme Court Justice Michael Streit on Iowa’s landmark anti-slavery decision “In the Matter of Ralph.” We will also present dramatic performances by the Langston Hughes Players and music by the Corinthian Baptist Church Praise Team. Our historic sites will offer hands-on activities tied to the day’s theme. A traveling exhibit from Iowa State University, “Toward a Universal Suffrage: African American Women in Iowa and the Vote for All,” will be on display. The day will open with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and close with a pie and ice cream social, giving guests a chance to meet the presenters. All activities included with General Admission.
Note: Times and locations are subject to change.
10 a.m.–1 p.m.
“To Go Free: In re the Matter of Ralph”
The Honorable Michael Streit
Visitor Center Celebration Room
Ongoing throughout the day
Lincoln Inne of Court
Corinthian Baptist Church Praise Team