‘Created Equal’ series ends at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Library

Mitch Yamasaki, professor of history at Chaminade University of Honolulu, led a discussion about abolitionism at the final "Created Equal" event held Sept. 20 at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Library.

Mitch Yamasaki, professor of history at Chaminade University of Honolulu, led a discussion about abolitionism at the final “Created Equal” event held Sept. 20 at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Library.

Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth

Assistant Editor, Ho’okele

The Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Library hosted its final film in the “Created Equal” series on Sept. 20.

The series of four documentary and film discussions documenting the civil rights struggle in America was sponsored by the Hawaii Council for the Humanities.

A guest speaker was featured for each film. The last film shown was “The Abolitionists.” Mitch Yamasaki, a professor of history and director of applied humanities research and grants at Chaminade University of Honolulu, led the discussion.

“The Abolitionists” illustrated the struggles of the men and women who led the battle to end slavery, using reenactments and narration to describe the lives and feelings of figures such as William Lloyd Garrison, a New England newspaper editor; Frederick Douglass, a former slave, author and activist; Angelina Grimke, the daughter of a rich South Carolina slaveholder; Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”; and John Brown, who led the raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry.

During the event, Yamasaki explained the history of the abolitionist movement from its origins in the Quaker community to the outbreak of the Civil War. He also delved into the stories of individual activists.

“To me it is always a privilege to hear from well-informed academics, who demonstrated throughout the ‘Created Equal’ series that the history of racial equality was not black and white, nor did it take place in a vacuum,” said Phyllis Frenzel, library director.

Raya Basiliali attended both the screening of “The Abolitionists” as well as the previous film, “The Loving Story,” which told the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who were arrested in 1958 for violating a ban on interracial marriage in the state of Virginia.

“I enjoy going to these,” she said. “They are always informative, and I enjoy interacting with other people.”

All four documentaries in the series are available for borrowing from the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Library. For more information, call the library at 449-8299.

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