Looking for Lincoln-Focus and Understanding of Complex Presidency ****
This is truly an exemplary documentary where we try to distinguish myth and reality of our nation's 16th president.
We learn that Lincoln was far from perfect, but he earned the respect of black America for what he represented to them as well as the entire nation.
We learn that Lincoln may very well have been accused of being a white supremacist. He did not adhere to the belief of equality of the races. We must remember that The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to those slaves living in states that were in rebellion against the U.S. Note that border state slaves were not freed. Lincoln correctly felt that such an action there would encourage secession of such states.
Lincoln's presidency and times guided the actions he took. The man suffered from depression early due to the death of Ann Rutledge, his sweetheart in youth. This same depression may have made him a stalwart during the Civil War Years. Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is as bright as ever, but has she aged! I remember her grading the Clinton acceptance speech of 1992 as A-. The woman in California who had so many Lincoln items in her home was nothing more than an exhibitionist. It was good to see the documentary end with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Unfortunate events included Marion Anderson singing by the Lincoln Memorial due to the bigotry of The Daughters of the American Revolution. The documentary should have mentioned that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in getting Anderson to sing where she did. That Illinois class showing a discussion of Lincoln was obviously a gifted class-yet some of their comments were ever so average. Despite the fact that Lincoln saw an inequality between the races, he has come to symbolize for African Americans and others, the hopes and aspirations for this country. For that reason alone, we must be forever grateful.
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