As part of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Laramie County Community College is proudly hosting “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.” This series of events, made possible by a competitive grant process, is designed to encourage communities across the country to revisit the history of civil rights in the U.S. and to reflect on the ideals of freedom and equality that have helped bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American life.
Project coordinator and LCCC history instructor Mary Ludwig has set a schedule of events including the screening of four documentaries and a special guest speaker.
All events take place at 7 p.m. in LCCC’s Center for Conferences and Institutes, Room 130. Community conversations follow these events, which are free and open to the public.
• Wednesday, Feb. 12 – The Abolitionists: Eric Davis, instructor of the U.S. Civil War, will present The Abolitionists, which documents America’s first civil rights struggle.
• Tuesday, March 11 – Freedom Riders: Mary Ludwig, instructor of history, will provide a showing of the powerful documentary Freedom Riders, which explores the fight of young civil rights workers to integrate travel facilities and challenge segregation in general.
• Wednesday, March 12 – Guest Speaker George Blevins: Freedom Rider George Blevins will share his experiences as a young man who peacefully challenged the segregation of interstate travel facilities and the difficulties this entailed.
• Tuesday, March 25 – Slavery by Another Name: Government Studies instructor Dave Marcum will present Slavery by Another Name, documenting the forced labor of African Americans well into the 20th century, and a roundtable discussion with Rep. James Byrd, Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, and Dr. James Peebles will follow.
• Wednesday, March 26 – The Loving Story: Kathleen Urban of LCCC’s Albany County Campus will present this film that examines the case of Richard and Mildred Loving, who fought for their right to marry despite Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act banning interracial marriage.
Deeply grounded in humanities scholarship, these films tell a remarkable story: about the importance of race in the making of American democracy, about the power of individuals to effect change, and about the historical contexts in which Americans have understood and struggled with ideas of freedom, equality, and citizenship.
This event 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 Lehman Institute of American History.