Anniversary of Slavery's End Marked with Call for Unity

Article excerpt

The Rev. Earl Nance Jr. talked politics. Mayor Freeman R. Bosley Jr. turned preacher.

And a celebration Wednesday of the 134th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation became a call to action for blacks in St. Louis.

Nance told the standing-room-only crowd at his Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 1617 North Euclid Avenue, that blacks must unite to make maximum use of the freedom and power they enjoy today. "We should never let our differences, personal or political, get in the way of the fact that we are in this together," he said. Bosley, who became the city's first black mayor in 1993, said the new year would be a crucial one. "It's got to be a year of rebirth," he said. "It's got to be a year where we renew our commitment. What are you going to do to improve the quality of life in this community?" Bosley is running for re-election this year. Among his challengers in the all-important Democratic primary is former Police Chief Clarence Harmon. Alderman Marit Clark, D-6th Ward, may run as an independent against Bosley if he wins the primary. Nance noted that St. Louis was one of the last major cities in America to elect a black mayor - behind even Seattle and Minneapolis. …