Goodman South Madison Library to Host Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle Film Discussions

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 11:07am

Launched in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle initiative brings four documentaries with riveting new footage to Madison to illustrate the historical struggle for civil rights in the United States, 50 years after Freedom Summer in 1964.
Created Equal is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities to harness the power of documentary films and encourage community discussion of American civil rights history. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.
Madison Public Library is one of 473 institutions across the country chosen and awarded this set of four films. The powerful documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, The Loving Story, and Freedom Riders, include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all. Freedom Riders was an Emmy award-winner in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists were nominated for the 2013 Emmys.  
As part of the initiative, the Madison Public Library will pair excerpts from the documentaries with a discussion led by a local humanities scholar. Participants can expect to be enthralled by the remarkable stories of the individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. They then can participate in a thought-provoking discussion tailored to this reaction and the feedback or shared life experiences of the group.
“These films chronicle the long and arduous effort to achieve the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—for all Americans,” said Chris Wagner. “We are pleased to receive this grant to provide programming around these films. We hope to continue the discussions surrounding race and inequality that have been so important in our community in the last year.”
The series is set to begin June 25 at 6:30 pm with a showing of excerpts of The Abolitionists followed by a talk with Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara, a historian with the UW-Madison Department of Afro-American studies. Other programs in the series are:
Wednesday, July 9, 6:30 pm
Slavery by Another Name, with guest facilitator Fabu Carter, poet, author and educator
Wednesday, July 23, 6:30 pm
The Loving Story, with guest facilitators Dr. Emily Auerbach, director of the UW-Madison Odyssey Project, and author Sherry Lucille

Wednesday, August 13, 6:30 pm
Freedom Riders, with guest facilitator Dr. Craig Werner, UW-Madison Department of Afro-American Studies

Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit a shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life.  The Created Equal film set and public programming were 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. Each film was produced with NEH support.  Visit for more information.
About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 136 years. Our nine locations throughout the City of Madison are open six days a week and welcome over 2.35 million visits each year.
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.
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.