Carl Adams Behind JUNETEENTH "Liberty Calendars”
By Debbie Jackson
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Carl Adams, a longstanding and active LGDC member, has been working on a JUNETEENTH calendar for over 20 years. His extensive research and writings about Nance, the first slave freed by Abraham Lincoln's actions, and then his subsequent devotion to promoting Juneteenth helped bring both of these issues into national prominence. In fact, a recent article in Peoria Magazine quotes Carl and documents the efforts to place a marker at Nance's gravesite. Carl's JUNETEENTH “Liberty Calendar” is the culmination of a lifetime of effort. For me, reading the daily calendar notations has become a kind of mantra that starts my day and ends my week, providing tiny little nuggets of history a day at a time. I’m finding myself touched by the relevance of the messages, the events and people, daily.
Carl has researched and provided over 400 hundred facts about African American history in a bright and colorful monthly display with each month extoling something new. January starts with Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation – the image actually gave me a rush that I wasn’t expecting. This is the only calendar I’ve seen that shows January 1, 1863, for the date of the Emancipation Proclamation; January 31, 1865, when Congress passed the 13th Amendment; special honors to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and so many facts in between. Each day contains a snippet of history - nothing overwhelms, just enough.
Just when I wondered how the calendar could maintain that level of relevance and excitement, now we’re in February and the calendar helps show the evolution of Black History Month. There’s Harry Truman signing a bill in 1948 proclaiming February 1st as “National Freedom Day” and a reference to the outlawing of slavery, a notice about Carter G. Woodson starting “Negro History Week (1926)” and the subsequent expansion to Black History Month. The pictures, notes and references for March and the Selma Civil Rights March are all astounding, including, of course, the celebration for JUNETEENTH and beyond through the end of the year. Each month is a treasure of riches. And finally, would you believe, this 2023 calendar year is the same as 1865! In my humble opinion, the calendar is a winner and a keeper. To give you an example, click here for several of the months-- USCT Liberty Calendar23.pdf (mypressonline.com)
Carl makes it clear he is open to any follow-up comments about the calendar project, whether they be additions or corrections. For those interested, there are a limited number of calendars still available.
For more information and/or to order, feel free to contact me at DMinter123@hotmail.com or Carl Adams at email@example.com.