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Jane Beck, Vermont’s first and longest serving folklorist is Director Emeritus of the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury.Susannne Rappaport was recognized for her body of work in 2014 when she received the Vermont Historical Society’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.Once completed, it will become a tool for understanding the Pawlet community for generations to come.

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When Reverend King delivered his famous “I have a Dream Speech” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, he said, “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow I stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation …

a great beacon of light and hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice.” It then was, and now is, widely known that Lincoln hated slavery from the time he began to form his own thoughts as a young man and it was Lincoln who brought about the end of slavery.

Yet he also long thought blacks to be inherently inferior to whites.

Bongartz will explore that incongruity and focus on how Lincoln’s thinking about both slavery and the place of blacks in American society changed over the course of his lifetime, with important events such as the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, getting to know and respect Frederick Douglas and the valor of black troops in the Civil War, serving as catalysts.

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