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SHSU to host Black History Month event

Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23:02

In observation of Black History month, the Huntsville community and Sam Houston State University students are gathering to discuss the civil rights movement and other historical events Feb. 6, 18 and 26.

Hosted by SHSU, a group of history professors are leading “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” to inform the history and present struggle of civil rights.

Through historical films and forums, residents and students will able to discuss issues surrounding the ongoing movement.

“The core purpose is to get people thinking and talking about issues of race, freedom, and equality,” said Erin Cassidy, associate professor of Newton Gresham Library.

Cassidy created and planned the event to shed light on specific issues that are often overlooked or given less attention than necessary. She teamed up with the National Endowment for the Humanities and three SHSU professors to present three different films that explore various aspects of the civil rights struggle.

The first film, “The Abolitionists: The Life of Frederick Douglass,” will discuss Douglass’s work as an abolitionist and an active leader in helping slaves.

Assistant History Professor Lindsey Swindall is hosting the viewing and will follow the film with a discussion with the audience that further discusses Douglass’ impact on America today.

The next viewing will focus on the issues of equal protection in the state of Virginia. Associate History Professor Jeffrey Littlejohn, Ph.D., will show “The Loving Story: Breaking the Law for Love,”a film about an interracial couple that faces discrimination.

“I want to talk about the historical issues of racial segregation and integration,” Littlejohn said.

Littlejohn added he plans to dissect the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause and show that despite its promises to protect the equal rights of everyone, there are still unwritten exceptions to the rules.

Cassidy, Pruitt, Swindall and Littlejohn said they hope to blend the younger and older generations and inspire them to learn more about the struggles that have been overcome and the struggles that still need to be acknowledged.

For a full list of times and locations, visit

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