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    Posted May 6, 2010

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LA Black History Month Celebrated

Clarence Williams, Barbara Roberts, Wren T. Brown

The Western Region EEO Committee's 2010 Black History Months event " Standing on My Sister Shoulders: A Celebration of Classical Works of African American Women playwrights," was presented on February 22, 2010 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.

The evening bought together the profound and innovative voices of these pioneering women whose works covered a wide range of subject matters, style, topic's and themes. Each expressing thought provoking experiences, dynamic characterizations and spoke to the issues of their time. Audience members were graced with the inspired and poignant voices of Georgia Douglas Johnson's "SAFE," Alice Dunbar's "MY EYES HAVE SEEN," Eulalie Spence's "FOOL'S ERRAND," Marita O. Bonner's "PURPLE FLOWER," Alice Childress's "WEDDING BAND," Zora Neale Hurston's " SPUNK," Adrienne Kennedy's "FUNNY HOUSE OF A NEGRO," Lorraine Hansberry's "A RAISIN IN THE SUN," Ntozake Shange's "FOR COLORED GIRLS," Pearl Cleage's "BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY," Judi Ann Mason's "LIVIN' FAT," Anna Deveare Smith's FIRES IN THE MIRROR," and Cheryl West's "BEFORE IT HITS HOME."

"Standing On My Sisters' Shoulders," was beautifully directed by L. Scott Caldwell and Mirron Willis and wonderfully executed by cast members; April Adams, Ryan Anderson, Tyreese Burnett, Doug Cox, Kim Estes, Babe Evans, Ray Ford April Grace, Tijuana Gray, Simbi Kali, Joyce Lee, Jeris Poindexter, Clarinda Ross and Musical Director Deborah Sharpe Taylor. Shine Mawushi - Women's Drum Corps and Maia, provided music.

It was an honor to celebrate and pay homage to the contributions made by these African American Women Playwrights who in some cases have been overlooked and left to "yesterday." This event bought about an awareness and appreciation that was echoed by those in attendance. Who responded with "It was great." "Thank you for introducing me to these women ." "Amazing" "Intense" "I didn't know about Georgia Douglas." "Wow" "Well organized" "Where did you find their work?" "Classics, these are our classics!" " A Revelation." "Deeeeeeeep."

My response was: My sisters shoulders are strong
Refusing to crack
Split or
Leaving behind a sturdy and unyielding
Frame of reference for us to build upon
Standing Steady
In preparation
For the Mounting

Special thanks to EEO Committee members Ivy Bethune, Annette Young, Kim Estes, Harrison White, Kelsey Scott, Ann Stocking, Felecia E. Taylor, Kelly Ground, Mirron Willis, Deborah Sharpe Taylor, Pat Loeb, Linda Tross and Clarinda Ross.

Clarence Williams, Barbara Roberts, Wren T. Brown

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