Linda Midgett became intrigued by a controversy brewing in 2015 at Wheaton College, her alma mater.
A black political science professor at the Illinois college had posted a Facebook selfie wearing a hijab in solidarity with Muslim women who are known to wear the head scarf as a symbol of their Islamic faith.
“I love my Muslim neighbor because s/he deserves love by virtue of her/his human dignity … we worship the Same God,” Larycia Hawkins, an Oklahoma City native, wrote in her post.
Midgett’s interest resulted in the documentary titled “Same God.”
The film, directed by Midgett, tells Hawkins’ story and explores the controversy that erupted after the professor’s social media post.
The documentary, which recently won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Bentonville (Arkansas) Film Festival, made its nationwide television debut on PBS in December 2019.
Sunday, the 95-minute film will make its big-screen premiere at select theaters across the nation. An Oklahoma City premiere that had been set for Sunday was postponed, but organizers said the documentary will be available on some streaming platforms on Monday.
In a recent telephone interview, Midgett said she initially was drawn to Hawkins’ story because she was an alumnus of Wheaton, a highly esteemed evangelical school just outside Chicago where the late renowned evangelist Billy Graham famously attended. She watched as the drama unfolded.
Within days of Hawkins’ Facebook post, Wheaton’s provost suspended the professor, eventually moving to terminate her tenure.