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September 19, 2013

Civil Rights film screenings planned

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — To mark the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Cooperstown Graduate Program and the New York State Historical Association will offer a series of film screenings and community discussion forums.

According to a media release, the screenings will feature four documentaries with footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America, and are meant to raise the level of public discourse on the legacy of slavery and emancipation in the nation.

The screenings come as part of “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which 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. CGP and NYSHA are able to provide these programs thanks to the sponsorship of the NEH.

NYSHA is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded the NEH grant, which includes 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.

The series will kick off with the showing of “The Loving Story” at 7 p.m., today at the Cooperstown Graduate Program at 5838 State Route 80 in Cooperstown.

This first film details the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in 1950s Virginia, and their landmark Supreme Court case. The documentary will be followed by discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Each of the films to be shown was produced with NEH support. Created Equal programs are “designed to 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.