Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline



Revolutionary changes is one of the most interesting phenomenon in the study of historiography, m no area has there been such a change in the area of historical writing in the era of the Civil War by black and white writers in recent years. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Emancipation Proclamation in the light of the contemporary Civil rights and Negro rights struggle as well as the struggle of the southern region to maintain some semblance of traditional cultural identity and distinctiveness.

The writer chose this topic because the Emancipation Proclamation readily becomes the focal point of much emotional bias in historical interpretation. There are few incidences in American history with the capacity to evoke reactions strong enough to overcome the caution of the trained professional because the status of race was involved in the act. The writer feels that it is significant in the study to use professional Negro and Southern White writers in an area of public controversy instead of lay writers because of the way professional historians write and document their materials. What will be demonstrated here is not new information on the Emancipation Proclamation, but the fact that the facts of history are, under the best professional circumstances, the victim of overt bias of the writer, some of which even he himself would find it difficult to explain.


The development of the scholarship on the problem of the Emancipation Proclamation among the seven selected Negro writers shows the follox^ing Pattern between World War II and the present. Three categories dominate this pattern of writing which appeared successively as "international humanitarian," "military," and "war for human freedom."

There are three Negroes who fall into the "international humanitarian category." They are, W.E.B. DuBois, Charles Wesley, and John Hope Franklin. DuBois saw the Emancipation Proclamation come not simply to black folks in 1863; to white Americans came slowly a new vision and a new uplift, a sudden freeing of hateful mental shadows. Charles Wesley observed that the Emancipation Proclamation as far as foreign nations were concerned was to shift the war issue to slavery and to win anti-slavery sympathizers in Europe. John Hope Franklin felt that the Emancipation Proclamation had moral and humanitarian significance.

Committee Chair/Advisor

George Ruble Woolfolk

Committee Member

Purvis Carter

Committee Member

Alexander Pratt

Committee Member

Fahim Elmargia

Committee Member

Raymond Welch




© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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