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To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, will speak about how Lincoln was pushed by runaway slaves and abolitionists to become a fierce advocate for complete abolition at the end of the war. Dr. Behrend’s talk will explore the role that slaves had in their own emancipation and he aims to explain why Lincoln changed from believing that he had "no lawful right" to emancipate slavery where it existed, to pushing for the complete of slavery in all the states. Following the acclaim over the Lincoln film, Dr. Behrend hopes to uncover intriguing aspects of Lincoln and his era that were unexplored in the film. “I think it is a superb film, but it's also a film that highlights President Lincoln at his greatest moment: winning the war and ending slavery,” shares Dr. Behrend. “How he got to that point of his greatest triumph is a fascinating story in its own right, and it shows how Lincoln changed.” Dr. Behrend is Assistant Professor in the History Department at SUNY Geneseo. His current research focuses on grassroots Democracy in the Post-Civil War South and he was recently a contributor to the New York Times' "Disunion" series that examining the Civil War during the 150th anniversary.

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