This article originally appeared in the Dispatch-Argus
The Moline Public Library is pleased to kick off a six-week look at our nation’s civil rights history. Beginning Monday, March 24, the travelling exhibition Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 to the March on Washington, 1963 will be on display on the library’s second floor. This exhibit, which examines the relationship between these two great people’s movements that tell the larger story of liberty and the American experience, will be on display until April 30.
In conjunction with Changing America, the Moline Library, with program partners Rock Island Public Library and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, will feature the film screening and discussion series Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. The four documentaries, produced with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, tells the remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. The first viewing and discussion session, featuring The Loving Story, will be held at the Rock Island Main Library Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
Additionally, the Moline Public Library is hosting several programs which will highlight the milestones, prominent figures, and themes of Changing America and Created Equal. A full schedule and descriptions of events can be found at molinelibrary.com/createdequal.
The series schedule, in brief, is as follows:
The Created Equal film and discussion series will be hosted by program partners:
The Loving Story, with discussion led by Reverend Dwight Ford of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, will be at Rock Island Main Library (401 19th Street, Rock Island) on Saturday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
Slavery by Another Name, with discussion led by Dr. Christopher Whitt of Augustana College, will be at Moline Public Library on Monday, April 14 at 6 p.m.
The three part documentary The Abolitionists will be screened at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (630 7th Avenue, Rock Island) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, April 22, and April 29, with discussion led by Rev. Ford.
Freedom Riders, with discussion led by Dr. Whitt, will be at the Moline Public Library on Monday, April 21 at 6 p.m.
All other events will be held at the Moline Public Library:
The series’ keynote address, Still Moving: The 1960s Civil Rights Movement and Living History will be presented by Dr. Paul Bushnell at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1.
A book discussion of Kindred by Octavia Butler will be led by Western Illinois University-Quad Cities’ Dr. Everett Hamner on Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m. Registration is required for this event and can be done at the library or by calling 309-524-2470.
A discussion of our regional history and The Underground Railroad will be presented by Dr. Arthur Pitz on Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m.
Illinois Humanities Council’s Road Scholar Donna Pierce will discuss the role of food between 1915 and the late seventies in Meals on Wheels: Great Migration Recipes Ride the Rails North on Wednesday, April 9 at 7 p.m.
Award winning Illinois folksinger Chris Valillo will perform Songs of the Civil Rights Movement on Wednesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Musician Coleman Harris, with dancer Dorian Byrd and poet Shellie Moore Guy will be Celebrating Langston Hughes on Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, April 23 at 7 p.m., Dr. Nancy Huse will enact the words of Ida B. Wells: Our Fearless American Foremother in a first-person, Chautauqua-style program.
Freedom Summer participant Patti Miller will discuss her civil rights era experiences in Keeping History Alive: Freedom Summer Experience 1964 on Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m.
Dr. Arthur Pitz returns to present Civil Rights March in Davenport on Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m.
For information, visit or call the Moline Public Library at 309-524-2470 or visit the series web site at molinelibrary.com/createdequal.
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.
Changing America is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
Local support for Created Equal and Changing America has been provided by Friends of the Moline Public Library, WQPT, and The Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus/QCOnline. Additional support was provided by the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly (through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency) as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.