The Created Equal film series focuses on themes related to civil rights, human rights, and social justice in American history. In 2015 the VHS will screen four films that encourage audiences to explore these issues and their significance in contemporary American society. Created Equal is hosted by the VHS in partnership with the Richmond Peace Education Center, and supported in part by Diversity Richmond’s VHS Guy Kinman Research Award.
The March tells the story of the famous 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which is today remembered as the setting for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. At the time however, the march was extremely controversial. It was put on by a coalition of civil rights and workers’ rights organizations, each with its own agenda, and was fervently opposed by the Kennedy Administration and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. After the film, Dr. Emilie Raymond, associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement, will offer commentary and answer questions.
All films will be shown at 6:30 p.m., with light refreshments available beforehand. Commentary and audience discussion will follow each film.
This series is named in honor of Rev. Grady W. Powell, Sr., of Petersburg, Virginia, who has served on the VHS board since 1996 and as honorary vice chair since 2011, and is instrumental in the development of relevant and accessible programming. He presided over the historic Gillfield Baptist Church, founded in 1788, for thirty-six years.