Edna Greene Medford to Examine the Evolution of Lincoln Memorial Meaning

By David J. Kent

Washington, D.C.

Thursday, May 19, 2022



Dr. Edna Greene Medford is an expert on Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction, and African American history. On May 22nd, she will bring that expertise to examine the evolution of the meaning of the Lincoln Memorial over the course of the last 100 years.


Medford is Professor Emeritus of History at Howard University here in Washington, DC. Over her long career she has served as chair of the Department of History, director of the department's graduate and undergraduate programs, associate provost for faculty affairs, and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She officially retired this past December after more than 35 years at Howard.


While at Howard she taught courses on the Jacksonian Era, Civil War and Reconstruction, and African American History to 1877. She received her degrees from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), the University of Illinois (Urbana), and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland (College Park). Medford has served in multiple leadership roles, including the Director for History of New York's African American Burial Ground Project. She is currently on the Executive Committee of The Lincoln Forum and is Vice President of the Abraham Lincoln Institute.


Medford's awards include the Graduate Professor of the Year Award and Professor of the Year Award, both from Howard University. She is also a special bicentennial recipient of the 2009 Order of Lincoln, the highest award given by the state of Illinois, for her Lincoln scholarship. She is the author of many articles, book chapters, and reports on Lincoln and the Civil War era. Her latest book is Lincoln and Emancipation.


For our May 22nd celebration of the Lincoln Memorial Centennial, Dr. Medford will trace the evolution of the Memorial from one focused on Unity to one symbolic of the fight to achieve Lincoln's goal of a more perfect Union where all Americans would enjoy the rights and opportunities of citizenship. Among other topics, she will touch on the role played by Dr. Robert Moton during the dedication ceremony in 1922, as well as the use of the Memorial for Marian Anderson's 1939 concert, Martin Luther King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech (on the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation), and its prominent symbolism for modern presidents, including President Barack Obama's inauguration.


Join us this Sunday, May 22, 2022, beginning at 10 am. This is an event not to be missed.


Check out other posts under the News tab on this website for more information, including how to plan your Lincoln Memorial Centennial Day (hint, take Metro).


And be sure to check out the Events tab for related programs the Lincoln Group has arranged to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial.