Press Release: Historian Allida Black Shares her Insights on the Lincoln Era and Its Lasting Impact on Modern Times


Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs, founder
Inkandescent Public Relations,
cell: 703-346–6975

Washington, DC, May 21, 2015 — What would America have been like if Abraham Lincoln had lived?

Allida Black, a research professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University, sat down with the Grateful American™ Radio Show to discuss how Lincoln’s assassination forever changed America and the parallels in leadership and persona that exist between Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“I can only say this: It would have been different,” said Black of Lincoln’s death. “We know that within a week before John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln was in fact talking publicly about voting rights for African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Some historians of great note argue that that was the tipping point that pushed the assassin to murder.”

In this podcast interview, David Bruce Smith, founder of Grateful American™ TV, and co-host Hope Katz Gibbs had a fascinating conversation with Ms. Black, delving into a variety of historical and hot-button issues, including:

  • As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of SELMA, and the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, how do you think Reconstruction/emancipation would have played out if Lincoln had lived?
  • How do think Lincoln would assess “emancipation” today? And, had he lived, how would the civil rights movement have played out differently?
  • As an expert on Eleanor Roosevelt, what do you think she learned from Lincoln? What would she ask him if she could have consulted with him?
  • How have Roosevelt, and other powerful political leaders such as Hilary Clinton, put Lincoln’s ideas into action during their time in power?
  • Talk about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What impact is it having, and how has it been influenced by Lincoln?
  • What do you think Americans can do today to honor the beliefs of Lincoln’s views on civil rights?

Black also shared her thoughts with Smith and Gibbs on how best to get, and keep, kids interested in history and teach them about the civil rights, the mission of Smith’s the Grateful American™ Foundation.

Black is the founding editor of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, a project designed to preserve, teach, and apply Eleanor Roosevelt’s writings and discussions of human rights and democratic politics.

Her many honors include the 2001 Person of Vision Award (from the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women) and the James A. Jordan Award for Outstanding Dedication and Excellence in Teaching (from Penn State University). She has also written four books related to Eleanor Roosevelt as well as teacher guides for PBS documentaries.

Download or stream the podcast here, then read all about it at

About the Grateful American™ Foundation

Founded in 2013, David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation is dedicated to restoring enthusiasm in American history for kids. From TV and radio shows to books and Fascinating Facts about the nation’s Founding Fathers and Mothers, the organization makes learning history fun by going behind the scenes at the nation’s most popular presidential and historic homes, ranging from George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, to Alexander Hamilton’s The Grange, and the Benjamin Franklin House in London.

Get your all-access pass to learn more about where history was made! Sign up for the monthly newsletter, and dive into the past at

Disclaimer: The photos of the historic figures pictured in the videos have been provided courtesy of the presidential and historic homes and museums depicted, as well as from the authors and historians, and / or are under Creative Commons usage. The Grateful American™ Series understands that these images are in the public domain and have no known copyright restrictions.