The Plant City Photo Archives and History Center is pleased to announce the first of five upcoming community programs incorporating the film series Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. The documentaries include riveting new footage illustrating the history of the civil rights movement in America.
On Tuesday, February 18, at 7 p.m., The Plant City Photo Archives will host the first public program, opening the series with a screening of excerpts from the first film The Abolitionists. Photo Archives Director Gil Gott will introduce the program prior to the film clips. The Abolitionists vividly brings to life the struggles of the men and women who led the battle to end slavery including: William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Angelina Grimke, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown. The film’s release in 2013 also marked the 150th anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Dr. James Michael Denham, Professor of History and Director of the Lawton M. Chiles Center for Florida History, at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, will facilitate further discussion on the film by providing an overview of the issues brought out by the film and leading the discussion following the film. Dr. Denham is an award-winning author and public speaker; he was awarded the Florida Historical Society’s Arthur W. Thompson Prize in 1992 and in 2002 he received the society’s James J. Horgan Book Prize. He lectures widely throughout the state for the Florida Humanities Council and he is a frequent contributor to Florida Public Radio.
The Plant City Photo Archives is partnering with local community organizations to offer a variety of Created Equal public programs which include film screenings, presentations by scholars, and community
discussions. Community partners include Dr. Maribeth Mobley and Kara Lawson, of Hillsborough Community College – Plant City Campus; Bill Thomas, of the Improvement League of Plant City; Gwen Thomas, of Bealsville Inc.; Anne Haywood, of the Bruton Memorial Library; and Gil Gott and Shelly Drummond, of the Photo Archives and History Center. All Created Equal programs are offered free to the public. If you would like to view the films in their entirety prior to the programs, they are available at the Bruton Memorial Library. Individual films from the series may be checked out.
“Being 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, these films give us the opportunity to have a public discussion of race relations in our country and put America’s civil rights struggle in a new perspective,” said Director Gil Gott. “Not only will this program provide a great opportunity to highlight the history of east Hillsborough and west Polk counties, this will bring national perspective to our local experience.”
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. 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. For more information visit their website at www.gilderlehrman.org. Additional support for the community programs is provided by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council.
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. The NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites. Each of the films 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 civil life. Visit www.createdequal.neh.gov for more information.
Plant City Photo Archives and History Center
Founded in 2000, the Plant City Archives and History Center is located at 106 South Evers Street in historic downtown Plant City and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Exhibit Gallery maintains a free admission policy. For further information call the office at 813.754.1578 or visit the website at plantcityphotoarchives.org.