Rev. Joseph S. Rowser Jr. was the guest speaker at this year's Emancipation Proclamation program at Rocky Mount Baptist Church in Talladega. Pictured above are Rowser, his wife Edith, daughter Michelle and father, Joseph Rowser Sr.
The Talladega County NAACP hosted its annual Emancipation Proclamation program on Jan. 1, 2014, at Rocky Mount Baptist Church in Talladega, according to Hugh Morris, president. This year’s guest speaker was Rev. Joseph S. Rowser Jr., pastor of Pine Grove Baptist Church in Lincoln. “Our theme this year was ‘Freedom, Justice, and Democracy Revisited,” Morris said. “Rev. Rowser spoke concerning the lateral progression of President Abraham Lincoln during this era. In the beginning of his presidency, Lincoln believed in colonization and his views were more in line and in agreement with Marcus Garvey. After experiencing unionization, the Civil War, signing the Emancipation Proclamation, among other things, Lincoln’s views had traversed to be more in line with the thinking of Fredrick Douglass. He finally succumbed, by assassination, to what was called Tecumseh’s Curse. The proclamation did not reflect Lincoln’s desired solution for the slavery problem. He continued to favor gradual emancipation, to be undertaken voluntarily by the states, with federal compensation to slaveholders, a plan he considered eminently just in view of the common responsibility of North and South for the existence of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was chiefly a declaration of policy, which, it was hoped, would serve as an opening wedge in depleting the South’s great manpower reserve in slaves and, equally important, would enhance the Union cause in the eyes of Europeans, especially the British.”
“In conclusion,” he said, “along with our (NAACP) commitments documented in our Mission statement, and Vision statement, one of our most urgent primary objectives is to focus on reaching our youth, taking them back from the streets, taking them back from violence, illiteracy, and rebuilding their character, self esteem, and instilling spiritual and moral values. We absolutely must, as a community, do everything humanly possible to bring our young men and women back into the fold, the ones that have fallen through the cracks. It’s going to take this whole community working together to accomplish this task. We must continue ever forward and hold high the banner left to us by people like Martin Luther King Jr., Medger Evers, Rosa Parks, and many, many others. Let us, by the will of God, continue to press toward the vision of, ‘One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’”
Membership to the NAACP is only $30 annually. Included is an annual subscription of the “Crisis” magazine. Join the NAACP today and support the Talladega County branch of the N.A.A.C.P. Contact Rev. Hugh Morris @ (256) 362-8720.