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Year-long film series explores America’s civil rights struggle

Photo courtesy El Paso Public Library

Equality and civil rights are struggles that many have faced throughout history. The El Paso Museum of History, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will present a year-long series of films and programs exploring the country’s civil rights journey.

As part of “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle”, the NEH and the Lehrman Institute will bring outstanding films on the civil rights movement to communities across the United States, including El Paso. The Created Equal Initiative will encourage communities across the country to revisit the history of civil rights in America and to reflect on the ideals of freedom and equality that have helped bridge deep racial and cultural divides in our life. Each of these documentary films, spanning the period from the 1830s to the 1960s, tells the remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation.

The series will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 15, 2015, with a screening of “The Abolitionists” at the Main Library, 501 N. Oregon Street. The series will continue through next June with the following screenings and programs:

  • “Freedom Riders.” Wednesday, October 21, 2015, at 7 p.m. Canutillo High School, 6675 S. Desert Boulevard
  •   “Freedom Summer.” Monday, February 8, 2016, at 7 p.m. EPCC ASC Auditorium Building A, 9050 Viscount Boulevard. This program is presented in conjunction with El Paso Community College Black History Month Celebration and will include a discussion on voting rights and the opportunity to register to vote.
  • Capoeira Quinto Sol and Samba Batucada Alma de Fogo Program. Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 10 a.m. Eastside YWCA ASC Auditorium Building A, 9050 Viscount Boulevard. Capoeira is a Brazilian art form which combines fight, dance, rhythm and movement. The details of capoeira’s origins and early history are still a matter of debate among historians, but it is clear that African slaves played a crucial role in the development of the art form. Some historians claim that slaves used capoeira’s dance-like appearance as a way to hide their training of combat and self-defense.
  • “The Loving Story.” Saturday, February 27, 2016, at 3 p.m. Location, TBA. This film will include small and large group discussions facilitated by Elke Cumming, Special Assistant to the CEO from YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region and Dr. Lucia Dura, Assistant Professor, UTEP
  • “Slavery by Another Name.” Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 1 p.m. El Paso Museum of History, 510 N. Santa Fe Street. Dr. Maceo Crenshaw Dailey, Director of African American Studies at UTEP, will lead a discussion following the film.

“The Abolitionists,” which will be screened on Saturday, was released in 2013 which marked the 150th anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation. Following the film, visitors can enhance their experience with a visit to the “Frankly My Dear: The Art and Impact of Gone with the Wind” at the El Paso Museum of History.

For more information, call (915) 351-3588.

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