USM & Lansing Historical Museum Partner on Documentary Series

8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
(Leavenworth, Kan.)—The University of Saint Mary and the Lansing Historical Museum together have secured a federal grant to present the documentary film series Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle and related programs.

The grant comes from 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 host sites.

The Lansing Historical Museum is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the civil rights movement. The 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.

USM’s Dr. Bryan Le Beau, vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Kyle Anthony, assistant professor of history, and Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias, director of the university’s Starr Global Studies Institute, will work with the museum to host film discussions in 2014 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. The first film program will be in March 2014. Dates and time are to be announced.

“As historians, Drs. Anthony and Zacharias and I are committed to the proposition that we need to study the past to understand the present. And nowhere is that more the case than when the past is so relevant, as the history of civil rights is to the state of Kansas,” said Dr. Le Beau. “For Kansas, that history dates to the Free State Border Wars of the 19th century and continues down through the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and the landmark Brown v.  Board of Education of Topeka case. We couldn’t be more pleased than to have the opportunity to partner with the Lansing Historical Museum on this public program.”

The Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit our shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life. 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.

For more information about the local film discussion series, contact Museum Site Supervisor Laura Phillippi at 913-250-0203 or email lphillippi@sbcglobal.net.