Lincoln, Abraham, in African American Memory.
- Ron J. Keller
After Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and especially following his death, African Americans showered lavish and reverent praise on his memory. He was to them, after all, not only the savior of the nation but the president that freed the slaves. When blacks acquired the right of suffrage, they offered allegiance to Lincoln's Republican Party, not just to return a tremendous favor but in firm belief that the party was the best option to guarantee freedom and equality. However, that equality eluded blacks through the painful years of Jim Crow segregation in the late 1800s and well into the 1900s, as both the Democratic and Republican parties turned their backs on African Americans. Nonetheless, blacks shared with their white counterparts fond sentiments for Lincoln.
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.