Documentary film screenings to highlight civil rights struggle

10 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — To introduce four documentaries with riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America, Northern Maine Community College and the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library will offer a series of documentary films free and open to the public.

    “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.

    The Presque Isle library 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” were nominated in 2013.

    The NMCC/Turner Memorial Library program will feature the four films throughout the months of April and May.

    “These films chronicle the long and sometimes violent effort to achieve the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — for all Americans,” said Lisa Neal Shaw, reference librarian at the Turner Memorial Library. “We are pleased to receive a grant from NEH to provide programming around these films.”

    Eric Pelkey, English and communications instructor at NMCC, is partnering with the library to show each film as follows: “The Abolitionists” April 9, “Slavery by Another Name” April 16, “The Loving Story” April 23, and “Freedom Riders” May 1. The films will be shown at 6 p.m. in the Edmunds Conference Center at NMCC.

    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.