‘Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle’

Ohio Wesleyan Libraries to Host Film Screenings Beginning Jan. 20

20140115-FreedomRidersDELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to present “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.”

A film-and-discussion series, “Created Equal” aims to bring diverse communities together to explore the history of civil rights and the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America through carefully selected documentaries, which include “The Abolitionists,” “Slavery by Another Name,” “The Loving Story,” and “Freedom Riders.”

Deeply grounded in humanities scholarship, these films tell a remarkable story about the importance of race in the making of American democracy; the power of individuals to effect change; and the historical contexts in which Americans have understood and struggled with ideas of freedom, equality, and citizenship. The documentaries address events from the 1800s through 1965 in the United States. Each of the films was produced with NEH support, and each highlights individuals who challenged the racial, social, and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation.

The Libraries will kick off the series on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 20) at 7 p.m. in the Bayley Room in Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Hasan Jeffries, Ph.D., an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, will guide a discussion of “Freedom Riders,” an Emmy Award-winning documentary.

Jeffries specializes in 20th century African American history and has an expertise in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. He is the author of “Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt” (New York University Press, 2009).

A free streaming copy of the “Freedom Riders” is available online at createdequal.neh.gov/films/freedom-riders. Advance screening is encouraged but not required prior to the event. The program is free and open to the public.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” 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.

Dee Peterson, coordinator of user services at the OWU Libraries, is leading the initiative for the campus and community. Contact Peterson at 740-368-3240 or dmpeters@owu.edu with questions about local events.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private, coed university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world practice. OWU’s 1,850 students represent 42 states and 37 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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