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Indiana State Museum debuts exhibit, ‘Influencing Lincoln: The Pursuit of Black Freedom’

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Museum launched the exhibit, ‘Influencing Lincoln: The Pursuit of Black Freedom,’ Saturday. The curation explores the Black community’s fight for freedom and equal rights during and after the Civil War at the national level and in Indiana.

The exhibit was created to, “discover how the 19th century black community connected through church, business, family, military, education and politics — fought for full citizenship and helped shift President Lincoln’s attitudes and actions regarding freedom,” according to a press release from the Indiana State Museum.

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“The same institution-building and use of social networks to effect change and equal rights were also happening in communities around the country, including Indianapolis,” said Susannah Koerber, chief curator and research officer and co-curator of the exhibition. “In the exhibition, we have the national story that happens with Lincoln and the parallel story that happens here with places like Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the organization of the 28th Indiana United States Colored Regiment.”

The curation will have rarely seen historic documents and artifacts, such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment that will cover the years from 1861-1875.

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“Black people were active in this freedom struggle,” said Kisha Tandy, curator of social history and co-curator of the exhibition. “They weren’t sitting around waiting for someone to give them freedom. They were organized, effective, and deliberate. Deliberate in their actions to obtain freedom, organized in the way they went about it, and effective because they made change.”

The exhibit will run from Saturday, March 18 – October 29, 2023. The exhibit is free with admission, which is $17 for adults, $16 for seniors, $12 for children and $5 for students currently enrolled in college with an Indiana school ID.

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For more information, call 317-232-1637.

As reported by Fox 59