To illustrate the history of civil rights in America as part of the on-going Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, the Clayton State University Library in February 2015 will offer two discussion forums centered around the films Freedom Riders and The Loving Story. These forums are free and open to the public.
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. The Clayton State Library is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the Civil Rights Movement. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.
The upcoming programs will feature selected clips from the film and facilitated discussions. On Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, the discussion of The Loving Story will explore the legal and social perspectives of interracial relationships and marriage, past, present and future.
On Thursday, Feb. 19, veteran Freedom Riders Dr. Etta Ray Simpson (Clayton State Professor of English Dr. LaJuan Simpson’s aunt) and The Rev. C.T. Vivian (the keynote speaker at Clayton State’s first Martin Luther King Commemorative Event in 2001) will share their personal stories of the historic Freedom Rides and how they risked their lives to challenge the system of segregation in interstate travel in the Deep South.
Both “Created Equal” discussions will be held in the Harry S. Downs Center on the Clayton State campus, starting at 6:30 p.m. Screenings of both films will be held prior to the discussions. More information on both events will be made available in January, 2015.
Each of the Created Equal films was produced with NEH support, and each tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit our shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life. Visit www.createdequal.neh.gov for more information.
The Created Equal film set and public programs have been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in the teaching and learning of American history. Programs include publications, teacher seminars, a national Affiliate School Program, traveling exhibitions, and online materials for teachers, students, and the general public. www.gilderlehrman.org.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge, and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, museum exhibitions, and programs in libraries and other community places. www.neh.gov.