Co-Sponsored Event: Created Equal? The Abolitionists

Created Equal? The Abolitionists: Radicals. Agitators. Troublemakers. Liberators.

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 6-7:30pm
Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
15 S. Seventh Street, Philadelphia
Admission Free.
Pre-registration is requested.

Beginning in the 1830s, several religious, social, and political reform movements swept through the United States. Among the men and women leading these reforms were abolitionists who fought to end slavery, an institution they believed to be incompatible with the founding principles of the nation.

The Philadelphia History Museum invites you to a screening of The Abolitionists, a documentary film vividly bringing to life the struggles of these ordinary men and women – black and white, enslaved and free – that culminated in the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Through innovative use of reenactments, this three-episode series puts a face on the anti-slavery movement—or rather, five faces: William Lloyd Garrison, impassioned New England newspaper editor; Frederick Douglass, former slave, author, and activist; Angelina Grimké, daughter of a rich South Carolina slaveholder; Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the enormously influential Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and John Brown, ultimately executed for his armed seizure of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The film’s release in 2013 also marked the 150th anniversary of the Proclamation.

Dr. Lawrence Little, Associate Professor of History at Villanova University, will discuss how the issues and themes raised in the film relate to current events. Objects from PHM’s collections will be on display during the program, including a “free labor” girl’s dress circa 1840s. 

About Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia has partnered with the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center, the Philadelphia History Museum,  and the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia to host screenings of four documentaries featuring riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America.

The documentaries are part of Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, a powerful film set produced with NEH support. Each film tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation.  These programs offer a series of lectures, discussion forums, and scholarly presentations in addition to the screenings.

The documentaries, The AbolitionistsSlavery by Another NameThe Loving Story, and Freedom Riders, 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. 

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle 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.

Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy