Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

New Program Series Planned at Historic Newton

Newton, MA, August 26, 2013—In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, this coming spring Historic Newton will offer a series of documentary screenings paired with lectures and discussion forums centered around the theme of Civil Rights.

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. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.

Historic Newton is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the Civil Rights Movement. 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 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 Cindy Stone, Director of Historic Newton. “We are pleased to receive a grant from NEH to provide programming around these films. As interpreters of a site on the Underground Railroad, the Jackson Homestead, this subject matter is completely aligned with our mission, and will follow on the success of our ‘Encountering Slavery and Race in New England’ lecture series which wrapped up in 2012.  It will bring the subject of that series into the present in a powerful way.”

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.createdequal.neh.gov for more information.

The Created Equal film set and public programs have been m
ade 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 Historic Newton
Historic Newton encourages inquiry about and exploration of the history of Newton, within the context of the wider American story. We oversee the Jackson Homestead, the Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds, and the preservation of Newton’s Historic Burying Grounds. We also collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit historic artifacts of local significance, and offer public programs in the form of seminars, workshops, tours, and discussions. The Jackson Homestead was built in 1809 and served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. For more information about Historic Newton, visit www.historicnewton.org. 

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

( For the full press release, click here. )