The African American Historical Society of Rockland County is a non profit, 501(c)3 corporation. Your contribution may be tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Consult your tax professional.

Film Screening – Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Thu, Feb 6, 2014

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A Glimpse of the Harlem Renaissance – Feb 25, 2014

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Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle Film Screenings



Wylene Branton Wood, President
African American Historical Society of Rockland County


Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle Film Screenings
Coordinated by the
African American Historical Society of Rockland County


Suffern, NY, August 2, 2013—To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and to introduce four documentaries with riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America, the  African American Historical Society of Rockland County and its community partners will offer a series of screenings and  discussion forums centered around the four  documentary films, starting in fall 2013.  Community Partners and co-sponsors of this initiative include Rockland Community College, VCS Inc., St. Thomas Aquinas College, Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association, Spring Valley NAACP, The CEJJES Institute, The Anti-Racist Alliance, Rivertown Film, Nyack NAACP, Naomi’s Program of Excellence, Holocaust Museum and Study Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Purpose Center, Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts and Culture, Historical Society of Rockland County, SUNY New Paltz, Nyack College, Konbit Neg Lakay, Dominican College, The Center for Safety and Change, and the National Pan Hellenic Council of Rockland County.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.

The African American Historical Society of Rockland County is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the civil rights movement. The powerful documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story, include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all.  Freedom Riders received an Emmy in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists have been nominated for Emmys in 2013.

The African American Historical Society of Rockland County and its Community Partners will feature conversations/discussions about the themes suggested in these historic films. These programs will be announced in the fall 2013.  “These films chronicle the long and sometimes violent effort to achieve the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—for all Americans,” said Wylene Branton Wood, President of the AAHS of RC.  “We are pleased to receive a grant from NEH to provide programming around these films. These documentaries and the conversations/discussions that ensue will be particularly meaningful for our community since currently there is discord among people with different backgrounds, life experiences,and goals.”

Each of the films was produced with NEH support, and each tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit our shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life. Visit for more information.

The Created Equal film set 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.

About The African American Historical Society of Rockland County

The current African American Historical Society of Rockland County:  Linking/Preserving the Cultures of the African Diaspora was revived and received its Provisional Charter from The Regents in May of 2006 and received its amended and extended Provisional Charter on June 21, 2011.  The African American Historical Society of Rockland County expands the knowledge and understanding of individuals and groups concerning the culture and history of peoples of the African Diaspora.  The organization promotes this knowledge and understanding through conversations with other groups, through educational programming, through cultural presentations, speakers, website, film screenings, library materials and the like.  Info about the group can be obtained at

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in the teaching and learning of American history. Programs include publications, teacher seminars, a national Affiliate School Program, traveling exhibitions, and online materials for teachers, students, and the general public.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge, and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, museum exhibitions, and programs in libraries and other community places.


GA Historical Society Press Release, July 11, 2013

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Download Press Release

Writers@Work: Reading/Lecture Series

Our newest AAHS of Rockland County Trustee is deeply involved in planning meaningful experiences on the history and culture of African Americans.  The following list gives info about programs he has initiated at St. Thomas Aquinas College for 2013-14.

St. Thomas Aquinas College, Fall-Spring 2013-2014

September 2013 | A month-long Collaborative Art Exhibit on Frederick Douglass & Slavery

The Lougheed Library

College students from St. Thomas Aquinas College enrolled in African American Writers and 7th/8th grade students from Blue Rock School read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and made silhouette art (inspired by Kara Walker—a contemporary African American artist) with personal statements reflecting their feelings and ideas about slavery.

Special opening speaker date and time TBA

October  2013 | What I did on my summer vacation

Professor Gerald McCarthy talks and reads passages from his NEH Summer Institute in Georgia Lowcountry, and a special showing of Take me to the water (a short documentary about Pin Point, Georgia)  Date TBA  The Lougheed Library

November 7th, 2013 | Poetry Reading

The Lougheed Library, 4 p.m.

Poet Sean Thomas Dougherty will give a reading from his new collection of poetry.

“Using street scenes (from Budapest to New York City) with family history (African American and Jewish), Sean Thomas Dougherty uses both traditional and experimental forms to explore issues of identity and family. Deeply rooted in music and performance, Dougherty’s poetry resists easy categorization, revealing the complexity of our lives and times.”

February 2014 | Ray Blue & Friends Jazz Tribute

The Sullivan Theater

Special events TBA

March 2014 | Gretchen Long (Williams College)

Doctoring Freedom as part of a tribute to Women’s’ History Month

April 8-9-10, 2014 | MLK in the 21st Century

A three-day tribute to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King  including a special lecture by Noah Mass(Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Tech),   reflections by Professors Carl Rattner, Michael Shaw with music by Evan Matthews and friends, and more.

April 2014 date TBA | Annual Student Faculty reading

In celebration of The Voyager (STAC’s literary magazine)

Congratulations to AAHS Trustee Willie Trotman

The African-American Historical Society of Rockland County Congratulates Trustee Willie Trotman on his inducted into the Rockland County Civil Rights Hall of Fame on March 8, 2013.

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AAHS Membership Brunch – April 6, 2013

Membership Drive Flyer 2013