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Creative Partnerships, OCtech to present two-part film series on social justice
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Creative Partnerships, OCtech to present two-part film series on social justice

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Ellen Zisholtz

Ellen Zisholtz is CEO of the Center for Creative Partnerships, which also is planning to restore All-Star Triangle Bowl on Russell Street.

The Orangeburg-based Center for Creative Partnerships Tuesday announced it is joining with Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College to present a two-part film series on social justice.

The film, "From Swastika to Jim Crow" will examine 1930s Nazi Germany when Jewish professors, who were expelled from universities in the country, came to the United States only to experience anti-Semitism at American universities.

These professors were accepted at historically Black colleges and universities in the South and ended up joining Blacks in the civil rights movement.

"I feel like this is the right time to show this film," Center for Creative Partnerships President and CEO Ellen Zisholtz told Orangeburg City Council at its Tuesday meeting. "Right now is the time -- the Black community, the Jewish community, the Latino community and the Asian community can get together and we can be a majority in this county and really make a difference for social justice for everyone."

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The film will be shown via Zoom on April 26 at noon and 7 p.m. and on April 27 at noon and 7 p.m. Individuals will have to register to see the film but the showing will be free.

A registration link will be made public at a later date.

The film project is funded by OCtech, South Carolina Humanities and South Carolina AARP.

The film series is dedicated to the late American historian John Hope Franklin.

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Franklin is best known for his work From Slavery to Freedom, first published in 1947.

In the early 1950s, Franklin served on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team led by Thurgood Marshall, and helped develop the sociological case for Brown vs. Board of Education.

This case, challenging segregated education in the South, was taken to the United States Supreme Court. It ruled in 1954 that the legal segregation of Black and white children in public schools was unconstitutional, leading to integration of schools.

A discussion opportunity on the film will be held via Zoom on April 29 at 7 p.m.

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John Whittington Franklin, the son of Franklin, will be the featured speaker. John Whittington Franklin was instrumental in the formation of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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The series was scheduled for release in the spring of 2020 but was postponed due to COVID.

In addition to the Social Justice Cinema Series, Center for Creative Partnerships has also purchased the Russell Street All-Star Triangle Bowl for the eventual location of the Orangeburg National Center for Justice.

Preliminary plans for the renovation project include developing space for films, museum exhibitions, education programs and community meetings, as well as what Zisholtz described as “the first ever civil rights bowling alley.”

Much work still needs to be done to help renovate the building, which is in some disrepair. Grant monies are being sought for the renovation project.

The Center for Creative Partnerships is a social justice organization created to promote community involvement through the arts, sciences and humanities, including the promotion of civil and human rights.

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