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“Created Equal" film series to shed light on Civil Rights struggle

by User Not Found | Mar 19, 2014

Auburn University at Montgomery has partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities to present the film series “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” throughout the month of April.

Using the power of documentary film to encourage community discussion of Civil Rights history, the series tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions – from slavery to segregation. The documentaries feature riveting new footage that shed new light on the history of Civil Rights in the U.S.

“These films help us deconstruct whiteness and provide a novel look at important milestones in African Americans’ struggle for equality in this country,” said Silvia Giagnoni, AUM associate professor of communication and event coordinator. “I’m thrilled to show and discuss these innovative documentaries in a city like Montgomery which is both ‘the cradle of the Confederacy’ and ‘the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement’.”

Each of the following films will be presented free of charge. Refreshments will be served.

“Slavery by Another Name”
April 2, 5 p.m.
AUM, Goodwyn Hall 111
Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning book, this documentary sheds light on convict labor in the U.S. – a common practice until World War II in which primarily Southern black men were charged with crimes like vagrancy and subjected to deadly working conditions as unpaid prison workers. The film will be introduced by Ben Severance, AUM associate professor of history.

“Freedom Riders”
April 9, 5 p.m.
AUM, Goodwyn Hall 111
This 2012 Emmy Award winning documentary centers on the Freedom Rides of 1961 and includes never before seen footage of a bus burning held in evidence by the FBI until now. The film will be introduced by Georgette Norman, director of the Rosa Parks Library and Museum.

“The Loving Story”
April 16, 5 p.m.
AUM, Goodwyn Hall 111
Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in Virginia because she was of African American and Native American descent and he was white. They never expected, however, to be woken up and arrested one night in 1958. This documentary brings to life the Lovings’ marriage and the legal battle that followed through little known filmed interviews and photographs shot for “Life” magazine. The film will be introduced by Pia Knigge, AUM assistant professor of political science.

AUM was one of 473 institutions across the U.S. awarded a set of films and given permission to screen them publically. The series 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. Co-sponsors include the AUM Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts, the Department of History and World Languages and Cultures, and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

For more information, visit www.neh.gov/created-equal.