People are under the perception that Lincoln freed slaves to help the African american community. This is false , it is something he said his self in a letter to editor Horace Greeley of the NY Tribune:
“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union”
Although he did not, he is still passed the emancipation proclamation to free slave, one policy that took a while to go into effect.