The Wisconsin Historical Society will host the second film in a four-part documentary series, Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle, in Madison on Tuesday, March 4. Selected segments of The Loving Story will air at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Society’s headquarters at 816 State Street. Admission is free.

the-loving-storyThe Loving Story tells the tale of Richard and Mildred Loving, a biracial couple who Virginia authorities arrested in a pre-dawn raid on their house in 1958 for violating the state’s law prohibiting interracial marriage. Professor Tonya Brito of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School will moderate a post-screening discussion with audience members.

The documentary brings to life the Lovings’ marriage, their arrest and the legal battle that followed through little-known filmed interviews and photographs shot for Life magazine. The Lovings eventually challenged Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their challenge in 1967, striking down all state miscegenation laws.

Through the Created Equal film series, the Society will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer and the 1964 passage of the Civil Rights Act. Other upcoming films in the series and their screening dates are:

  • Freedom Riders on Tuesday, March 25, which tells the terrifying story of one group of white and black volunteers who rode a bus into the Deep South in 1961 to press for equal treatment of African Americans in interstate travel
  • Slavery by Another Name on Tuesday, April 22, which features interviews with the descendants of victims and perpetrators of trumped-up crimes in the Deep South intended to create a captive force of unpaid labor in the early 20th century.

The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Bridging Cultures initiative have generously underwritten the Created Equal film series.

You can read more about the series here.

For more information on the “Created Equal” film series or the Society’s civil rights collections, contact Rick Pifer weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 608-264-6477 or Gayle Martinson 608-264-6535 Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m.