Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle
A special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Visit the NEH Created Equal website.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the National Endowment for the Humanities has developed a special project as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative: Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. Up to 500 communities across the nation will receive a packaged set of NEH-funded films on Civil Rights history, accompanied by programming resources to guide public conversations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in U.S. history.
The Created Equal initiative was developed through a partnership of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Resources related to the four films can be found on this page.
Connecting the stories of America’s long civil rights struggle: a conversation with James Leach and Earl Lewis.
As part of the Endowment’s Bridging Cultures initiative, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” will 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. Scheduled to launch in 2013 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this program will offer a packaged set of NEH-funded films on Civil Rights history to up to 500 communities across the nation over three years (from 2013 to 2016). Four powerful documentary films (The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders and The Loving Story) will be accompanied by in-depth programming resources to help guide productive community discussions.
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.
The documentaries address events from the 1800s through 1965 and several themes resonate among these films: the search for equal rights as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the roles of individuals and grassroots groups in bringing about a more just society, and the evolving understanding of democracy and freedom in the history of the United States. The films include: