To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, Waynesboro Public Library will offer a series of screenings and scholarly presentations centered on several documentaries with riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America.
WPL is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the civil rights movement. Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. The powerful documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story, include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all. Freedom Riders received an Emmy in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists have been nominated for Emmys in 2013.
“These films chronicle the long and sometimes violent effort to achieve the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—for all Americans,” said Mary Ann Hayden, adult services librarian. “We are pleased to receive a grant from NEH to provide programming around these films.”
WPL’s program will feature The Abolitionists at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, February 12 followed by a presentation by Holt Merchant, Washington and Lee history professor on February 12 at 7:00 p.m. Slavery by Another Name can be seen Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00 p.m. On February 20 at 7:00 p.m., a presentation will be made by Amy Tillerson-Brown, African American studies instructor at Mary Baldwin College. The screening of The Freedom Riders is Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. and Theodore DeLaney, Washington and Lee history professor, gives a presentation on February 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Each of the 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.neh.gov/created-equal for more information.
The Created Equal film set is made possible through 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.