I received an email today announcing a special advance screening for the BYU community of “A Class Apart,” a new film in PBS’s American Experience series. The screening will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 11am in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium. Most of you will be gone for Placement Break, but if you’re around you may want to check it out.

From the email:

A Class Apart tells the story of a landmark civil rights case, Hernandez v. Texas. In 1951 in the town of Edna, Texas, a field hand named Pedro Hernandez murdered his employer after exchanging words at a gritty cantina. From this seemingly unremarkable small-town murder emerged this watershed civil rights case that would forever change the lives and legal standing of tens of millions of Latinos. A team of unknown Mexican American lawyers took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, where they successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.

A Class Apart is based upon BYU Professor Ignacio Garcia’s recently released book White But Not Equal: Mexican Americans, Jury Discrimination and the Supreme Court (University of Arizona Press, 2009). The Redd Center and Garcia, the Lemuel Hardison Redd Jr. Chair in Western American History, arranged for the screening as a gift to the BYU community because of the university’s generous support for the research that made the book and documentary possible. This is one of a handful of exclusive advance screenings across the nation. Professor Garcia will discuss the film and answer questions following the screening.