Sunday, October 16, 2016

Celebrating Fannie Lou Hamer

From ArtRage Gallery:

On Sunday, October 16, 2016, Vanessa Johnson will perform her one-woman show "I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired," her tribute to civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The show is based on testimonies and interviews of Ms. Hamer, primary documents from various U.S. archives, and the voices of other Civil Rights Activists who knew her. It includes spoken word, songs, audience participation and monologues.

Ms. Hamer was the youngest of 20 children and was 6 years old when she started working cotton fields in Mississippi. She began working with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1962, was a founding member and Vice President of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and was called the “spirit of the Civil Rights Movement.” She said, “Sometimes it seem like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed. But if I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom. I’m not backing off.”

Vanessa Johnson, who also wrote the show, is a Griot, writer, playwright, actor, fiber artist, museum consultant, community activist, historian, and an educator. She will be accompanied during this performance by Berny Williford.

*A Griot is a West African poet, musician, storyteller, historian and/or praise singer.
Download the audio at the a-Infos Radio Project.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Project Unspeakable

The ArtRageous Players present a dramatic reading of Project Unspeakable, a new play about the 1960s assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert F. Kennedy. Twelve local actors play dozens of roles live at ArtRage Gallery. Project Unspeakable was inspired by James Douglass’ groundbreaking and meticulously researched book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. It was written by playwright Court Dorsey and associate playwrights Debbie Lynangale and Steve Wangh, based on extensive research about the four assassinated leaders.

Through the medium of live theatre, the playwrights’ intention is to challenge the silence that for decades has surrounded these four “unspeakable” assassinations (“unspeakable” being a term Douglass borrows from renowned Trappist monk Thomas Merton).  In so doing, they hope to shed light on the “unspeakables” of today – the officially covered-up crimes on the part of elements within the U.S. government and their corporate allies that have led to or worsened the multiple crises that currently beset our country and the world.

The play includes the words and stories of courageous individuals who, despite government intimidation, refused to be silent about what they knew about these assassinations.  And it calls on all of us to examine our own responses over the years to such crimes, then and now, and to consider the potential for responsible action.

Download the audio at the a-Infos Radio Project.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Frida Berrigan - It Runs in the Family

On Being Raised by Radicals & Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood

From ArtRage Gallery:

As part of our speaker series during our Americans Who Tell The Truth exhibition, Frida Berrigan, daughter of Philip Berrigan, speaks at ArtRage about her dad and new book It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing into Rebellious Motherhood.

The book illustrates how parents can create lasting and meaningful bulwarks between their kids and the violence endemic in our culture by considering how to raise thoughtful, compassionate, fearless young people committed to social and political change without scaring, hectoring or scarring them with all the wrongs in the world.

Her parents, Phil Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister, were a former priest and nun who became nationwide icons for their prophetic witness against war and nuclear weapons, which sometimes resulted in long jail sentences. Frida grew up in the community they helped found, Jonah House in Baltimore, and becoming a parent herself has forced her to come to terms with her own upbringing in new ways. She offers a unique perspective on parenting that derives from hard work, deep reflection, and lots of trial and error.

Download the audio at the a-Infos Radio Project.