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Out & About

January 30, 2014

'Created Equal,' history-infused cinema

film: Documentaries illustrate history of civil rights in America in nationwide series

PLATTSBURGH — “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” offers, one film at a time, a crash course in American civil-rights history.

The four-part film series is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its “Bridging Cultures” initiative in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The series uses the power of documentaries as a springboard for community discussion. Julie Wever was the catalyst for bringing it here. 

“We received a notice from the National Endowment of the Humanities,” said Wever, who is a librarian and outreach coordinator at the Clinton Essex Franklin Library System.

“We were interested in this topic. We thought it would be good for the system to promote this information through our member libraries.”

Wever submitted an application and identified community partners.

“That included the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association,” Wever said. “Peter Slocum, there, is the front person on the project. He’s taken the ball and run with it and made a lot of good contacts for us. We’re pleased we could partner with the Underground Railroad Association and exciting new partners.”

Co-sponsors are the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, the Plattsburgh Public Library and the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System.

BEGINS SATURDAY

At 1 p.m. Saturday, “The Abolitionists” is the first offering in the series.

It is “the story of a small group of moral reformers in the 1830s that launched one of the most ambitious social movements imaginable: the immediate emancipation of millions of enslaved African Americans,” according to a press release. Discussion leader is Dr. J.W. Wiley, director of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion at SUNY Plattsburgh.

The Clinton Essex Franklin Library System is among more than 470 institutions nationwide that were awarded “Created Equal.”

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