5:53 pm very calm evening: Very quiet day today, did a little work on the computer, Listened to my phone messages from yesterday, I have to follow up on one possible visiting artist gig, went to the store...... Blah,...blah....blah,,,
Last night: I wanted to spend the New Year's in observation of some form of tradition, so, I chose to have fellowship at Abyssinian Baptist Church's "Watch Night Service" in Harlem, I have to admit I did not know the significance of "Watch Night Service" until last night.
I was thankful that the historical significance was printed in the church program. The "Watch Night Service" has a great political and historical significance, it's roots can be traced back to gatherings of en-Slaved Africans on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve." on that night, the en-slaved Africans congregated where ever they could, in what ever meeting places they created or found across the nation, in place of worship and fellowship, they anxiously waiting for news that the Emancipation Proclamation would become law.
With the north and south regions of America about to enter the third year of a bloody civil battle, President Abraham Lincoln was set to sign an edict that would impact the enslaved Africans, and fundamentally transform the character of the war.
This Emancipation Proclamation decreed "That all persons held as slaves within any state, or any designated part of a rebellious state, shall be henceforward and forever, "FREE" at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 1863, en-slaved Africans in the Confederate States were declared legally "FREE".
When this was heard by the en-slaved Africans (Who many could not read) complete Jubilation broke-out among the newly Emancipated African-Americans.
Last nights service was an unusually moving, beautiful and powerful service for me, it was eloquently pastored by Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III. Abyssinian Baptist Church has a very impressive history to the community of Harlem and the United States, This church was pastored by the brilliant and charismatic, national politician ("Keep the Faith, Baby") Adam Clayton Powell Jr.
Talk about shaking things up during troubled times, This man was amazing.