The 13th Amendment Program

African American History Month Program - Tuesday, February 21, 2017


         Detroit River Project and Collaborative Partners            


                                                The 13th Amendment:

A Historical Perspective- Justice, Freedom and the Spaces In Between


                                             Tuesday, February 21, 2017
                                                        1:00 - 8:00 p.m.
                                        Detroit Public Library - Main Library 

Join us for a special displaying of a very rare (Handwritten) draft copy of the 13th Amendment passed into law in 1865.  The document was duplicated in draft form with the signatures of every member of the Senate signing the draft to be used as a fundraising tool to make money for the Union at the end of the Civil War.  On December 6, 1865, the US Congress ratified the 13th Amendment, officially freeing all those enslaved within the United States.  

  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Detroit's MLK King High School ROTC will be acting as honor guard from 1:00 -3:00 pm in the Friends Conference Room (Rare Book Room) as a security presence for the 13th Amendment document.  We will have members of the Montfort Point Marines, Tuskegee Airmen available to discuss their backgrounds and war "stories" during the day.  
  • 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Academy Award-nominated documentary "13th" will be shown in the Clara Stanton Jones Friends Auditorium throughout the day
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Panel Discussion in the Clara Stanton Jones Friends Auditorium from 6:00 - 8:00p is entitled, "The Thirteenth Amendment - A Historical Perspective- Justice, Freedom and the Spaces In Between."

Panelists Include:


Dr. Peter J.Hammer - Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. The Keith Center is dedicated to promoting the educational, economic and political empowerment of under-represented communities in urban areas and to ensuring that the phrase "equal justice under law" applies to all members of society. Professor Hammer was instrumental in editing and compiling Judge Damon J. Keith's new biography, Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith (2013). Professor Hammer has become a leading voice on the economic and social issues impacting the city of Detroit, and has added new courses to the law school curriculum on "Race, Law and Social Change in Southeast Michigan" and "Re-Imagining Development in Detroit: Institutions, Law & Society ( )


Dr. Roy Finkenbine - Professor of History and Co-Chair of History - UDetroit Mercy. He teaches African American and 19th-century American history. A specialist on slavery, abolition, the Civil War, and the Underground Railroad, he is currently engaged in a study of the search for emancipation, citizenship, and reparations through the experience of one prominent former slave. As Associate Editor of the Black Abolitionist Papers Project at Florida State University, he co-edited the five-volume Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865 and Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation. He recently completed a second edition of Sources of the African American Past. He is director of the Black Abolitionist Archives in the College of Liberal Arts & Education. He was reappointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission. Finkenbine holds a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University and joined the University in 1996. ( )


Jamon Jordan - is an educator and historian and member of the new generation of social activists, along with teaching history and social studies for 15 years. He is the tour guide for Black Scroll Network History & Tours and serves as the President of the Detroit chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

For more information or to register for event, click on the following link:


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