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A second emancipation

For the January/February 2013 issue of Washington Monthly, Pulitzer Prize-winning civil rights scholar and Martin Luther King, Jr. biographer Taylor Branch and Haley Sweetland Edwards discuss a 1961 meeting between Dr. King and President John F. Kennedy. At the informal, off-the-books meeting between the two leaders, King proposed President Kennedy issue a second Emancipation Proclamation – this one intended to outlaw segregation the same way the first Emancipation Proclamation outlawed slavery. When Kennedy responded by trying to keep his relationship with King social, as opposed to focusing on civil rights issues, King continued to press for action, and in 1963 Kennedy finally responded to increasing pressure from growing demonstrations by proposing a civil rights bill, though he never acted on the second Emancipation Proclamation King and his collaborators drafted.

Read the full article, as well as other articles from the January/February issue of Washington Monthly. In conjunction with the release of this special issue of Washington Monthly, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Washington Monthly hosted an event in Washington D.C. on Jan. 25. Watch the C-SPAN coverage of the panel discussion.

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