Created Equal

“Equality Under the Law”

13 February 2014 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm in the Stetson Room (Located on the second floor of the Carlton Union Building [CUB])

Dr. Susan Peppers-Bates, Dr. Joshua Rust, and Dr. T. Wayne Bailey will facilitate a discussion of “Equality Under the Law” as it relates to the Civil Rights movement. The discussion will center on two documentaries: The Loving Story and Slavery by Another Name. Clips of the documentaries will be shown during the discussion, and the the full videos will be screened several weeks before the discussion. (See below for more details.) The program will bring together Stetson students and faculty with members of the DeLand community for a discussion on Civil Rights and “Equality Under the Law.”

All of these events are open to the public, and Stetson students may receive cultural credit. Please e-mail Dr. Jason Martin (jmartin2@stetson.edu) to RSVP or for more information.

Documentary Screenings

Slavery by Another Name

  • Tuesday 28 January 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Stetson University, Room 25L (Downstairs in the duPont-Ball Library building; enter through the Nemec Courtyard.)
  • Thursday 6 February 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm DeLand Public Library

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“For African Americans after the Civil War, the abolition of slavery in 1865 was a landmark in human history. But blacks came to recognize that while slavery had been abolished, their newly secured freedom was at risk despite the Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments. New forms of coerced labor proliferated in the post-Civil War South, as trumped-up criminal charges were used as a pretext for the virtual re-enslavement of thousands of able-bodied southern black men and women.

The thousands of black people falsely imprisoned in mines, lumber camps, brickyards, quarries, and plantations were victims not of an anonymous bureaucracy but rather of the face-to-face cruelty and contrivances of white authorities, both prominent and obscure. Once the convicts left their cells in the South’s local jails, they became de facto slaves to the companies who had leased them. With virtually no legal liability for the treatment of the convicts, convict contractors ruthlessly exploited them. Convicts were maimed by their work and by the punishments they received from their guards, and many died from malnutrition and disease. Only a minority survived the ordeal with their bodies intact.”–W. Fitzhugh Brundage on Slavery by Another Name from the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle programming guide.

The Loving Story

  • Tuesday 4 February 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Stetson University, Room 25L (Downstairs in the duPont-Ball Library building; enter through the Nemec Courtyard.)
  • Tuesday 11 February 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm African American Museum of Arts (325 South Clara Avenue DeLand, FL) Seating is limited to the first 40 people.

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“Laws governing interracial sex and marriage followed the arrival of the British in North America in the seventeenth century and lasted for more than three centuries. These laws remained on the books in many states until 1967, when the United States Supreme Court found them unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia, its only civil rights decision ever to appeal to fundamental principles of ‘vital personal rights.’

The 1967 case Loving v. Virginia was a suit brought by Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple, to overturn the 1924 Virginia act.

In Loving, a unanimous Court explained that ‘the freedom to marry has long beenrecognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. . . . To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. . . . Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.’”–Jane Dailey on The Loving Story from the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle programming guide.

About the Created Equal Series

To introduce four documentaries with riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America the duPont-Ball Library at Stetson University will offer a series of screenings and discussions centered around the documentaries The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, The Loving Story, and Freedom Riders in the Spring and Fall of 2014.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities that 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.

Stetson University is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the civil rights movement. The powerful documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story, 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 with The Loving Story winning an Emmy.

Each of the films was produced with NEH support, and each 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 civic life. Visit www.neh.gov/created-equal for more information.

The Created Equal film set 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.

Dr. Jason Martin and Barbara Costello are the co-program coordinators for the duPont-Ball Library.