To celebrate a pivotal moment in American history, Marc H. Morial, Judy Reese Morse, and Bishop Darryl S. Brister hosted “Freedom is Not Free…The Fight Continues” Watch Night Service Commemorating the 160th Year Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

This commemorative event was held on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, and included a video presentation, curated music, the lighting of the Kwanzaa candles, and words by Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

Special guests in attendance included Louisiana Democratic party chair, Katie Bernhardt, New Orleans City Councilman Eugene J. Green, former Orleans Parish sheriff, Marlin Gusman, Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal Chief Judge Terri F. Love, and former Criminal Court judge, Arthur Hunter.

“While slavery has been outlawed for 159 years, Black Americans are still encountering racism and inequalities that keep them bound,” said Marc H. Morial. “This is a time for families to bring in 2023 together and celebrate the resilience of African Americans…the fight must continue.”

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of the Civil War. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are, and henceforward shall be free.”

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