ALBANY, Ga. -- Civil rights film producer Constance W. Curry and Florida ACLU official Benetta M. Standly will be the featured speakers at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Albany Civil Rights Institute's Monthly Community Night.
The focus will be on Curry's award-winning film, "The Intolerable Burden: Segregation, Desegregation, Resegregation." The 57-minute film will be shown at 7 p.m., followed by a discussion led by Curry and Standly.
The film is based in part on Curry's award-winning book, "Silver Rights," which tells the story of Mississippi Delta sharecropper Mae Bertha Carter and her family's struggle for education in Sunflower County. The film, winner of the American Historical Association's John E. O'Connor Film Award, goes on to follow the story of what happens to Sunflower County in desegregation's aftermath.
Curry, a writer, activist, and fellow at the Institute for Women's Studies, Emory University, has a juris doctorate from Woodrow Wilson College. She did graduate work in political science at Columbia University and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bordeaux in France. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Agnes Scott College in Decatur. In 1960, Curry was an adult adviser and the first white woman on the executive committee of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during its campus-based years. She also worked closely with the Atlanta Committee on Appeal for Human Rights. She has co-written and edited four books in addition to "Silver Rights."
Standly, originally from Los Angeles, Calif., serves as the director of the Northeast regional office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, located in Jacksonville. She works to expand civil liberties initiatives in the region, including all phases of
management, public policy advocacy, public relations, membership, fundraising and community organizing.
In addition, Standly also directs the ACLU of Florida's Capital Punishment Project, which fights to abolish Florida's death penalty system through public education, public policy reform and advocacy. She previously served as the public policy director and statewide organizer for the ACLU of Georgia.
"The Intolerable Burden" relates Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter's commitment to obtaining a quality education for their eight youngest children by enrolling them in the white public schools of Drew, Miss., in 1965.
The film examines the conditions of segregation before 1965, the hardships the Carter family faced during desegregation, and the massive white resistance that led to resegregation with the establishment of white academies.
Both Curry and Standly are concerned about dismantling the school to prison pipeline (STPP) discussed in the film. STPP is a national trend where vulnerable children are pushed out of public schools and into alternative schools, juvenile detention centers, jails and prisons.
The next ACRI Monthly Community Night on Aug. 25, will feature the play "Deep Wells," based on the life of Albany Movement leader the Rev. Samuel B. Wells. The play, written and produced by ASU playwright Curtis Williams, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Mt. Zion Church at ACRI. A matinee performance will take place at 3 p.m. Aug. 27. Tickets for both performances are $10 and will benefit ACRI.