Traveling exhibition at Xavier connects Emancipation Proclamation, March on Washington

NEW ORLEANS - Xavier University is hosting a traveling exhibition that draws a direct historical connection between the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the March on Washington 100 years later.

As part of our yearlong commemoration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated 49 years ago this month, we are reflecting on the past, evaluating the present – and seeking solutions for the future.

The traveling exhibition, which debuted in 2014, is called “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963,” and opened to the public at Xavier’s library on March 22.

It aims to bring historical context to events in the nation’s history that, in many ways, are still unfolding today.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” Xavier Librarian Dr. Lynette Ralph said. “The dramatic story of how these two pivotal events came into being, a century apart, and how each helped put the nation on a course toward fulfilling its commitment to liberty and justice for all, is one that can inspire all Americans.”

The exhibition will make 50 stops across the nation, with each stop accompanied by public programming designed to educate audiences on the relationship between the two movements.

"Changing America" is presented by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office.

It is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The exhibit will be at Xavier until May 5.