NEH and Bridging Cultures: Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

To mark the anniversaries of the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington, last September NEH launched the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle website as part of NEH’s Bridging Cultures Initiative. The website hosts four nationally acclaimed, NEH-supported documentaries about the civil rights movement: The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, The Loving Story, and Freedom Riders, making them available for use in classrooms and communities nationwide. The films cover the history of the civil rights movement from its early beginnings in the 1820s through the late 1960s, highlighting some of the most dramatic moments in the struggle for equality—for example, the firebombing of a bus of Freedom Riders in Georgia and the Supreme Court decision to overturn laws barring interracial marriage.

In addition to the films, the site provides guides for community film screenings and public discussions. Many organizations hosting events have posted information on the Film Programs by State page. The Created Equal website also provides resources for teachers to use the films in the classroom, including a number of lesson plans, specially selected film clips, tips for meeting Common Core standards, and an extensive collection of background texts and annotated materials. The texts and materials encourage students to think critically about the subject matter in the films.

NYU’s campus in Washington D.C. will screen Freedom Riders and The Loving Story as part of its celebration of Black History Month. Details and schedules for the screenings will be available on NYU’s site.