TybeeMLK Human Rights Organization and Tybee Post Theater team up to present “THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – IN COLOR”.
The organizations present programs at the Tybee Post Theater for four days that observe the significant role played by African Americans in the nation’s history and culture – the accomplishments as well as the challenges.
“We hope that by partnering with various organizations, we can come together and have candid conversations about all types of topics. The Tybee Post Theater is a place for everyone and we welcome people with different opinions to come into our space and have kind and caring discussions about all types of issues. Having partnerships creates a stronger, more vibrant community,” said Evan Goetz, Executive Director of Tybee Post Theater.
On Wednesday, February 16 at 6 p.m., there will be a round table on the time of tears. This event is free but a ticket is required to attend. A panel of Panel experts will reflect and discuss the history of Georgia’s largest slave auction. The auction took place in 1859 at the Ten Broeck racetrack in Savannah.
“Savannah is obviously rich in history. However, when the story reflects an era that includes difficult subject matter, we tend to avoid the subject matter, or rather the creative divide around it,” Goetz said. “The goal is to come together to experience the common thread that unites us as humans.”
During the panel, Dr. Amy Potter, Professor of Geology and Geography at Georgia Southern University (GSU), using various academic studies, will discuss the ways in which slavery has been historically commemorated in the United States in order to place current efforts surrounding the Time of Weeping in a broader national and international context.
Griffin Lostson of Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters will discuss life as a slave.
Dr. Maxine Bryant, Gullah-Geechee Center and GSU, will address the legacy of slavery. Dr. Kara Sweeney, GSU Investigating the Legacy of Slavery in the Tybee and Lazaretto Creek Area and Savannah Post 1 at Large Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter will also speak on The Time of Weeping.
“In creating and crafting a panel to discuss the importance of The Weeping Time, we hold up a mirror to our own thoughts, biases and ideologies,” Goetz said. “These reflections allow us to save space for difficult conversations and give us chances to show empathy towards a rather horrific time.”
On Thursday, February 17 at 6 p.m. there will be a screening of the 1967 film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” In the film, a white couple’s attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé. The film stars Sidney Poitier, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
On Friday, February 18 at 6 p.m. there will be a screening of the 1959 film “Imitation of Life.” In the film, an aspiring white actress takes in an African-American widow whose biracial daughter wants to be seen as white. The film stars Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, Juanita Moore and John Gavin.
“Both films were selected not only to feature powerful acting performances, but also to reflect society in another era. However, those who watch the films will draw distinct lines between then and now. Questions of interracial marriage and racial identity are still relevant in today’s society,” Goetz said.
Both film screenings will be followed by a Q&A moderated by sociologist, author, speaker and educator Dr. Bertice Berry. Tickets for both screenings are $5.
On Saturday, February 19 at 2 p.m. there will be a free workshop on music and the civil rights movement. In his book, Why We Can’t Wait, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Freedom songs are the soul of the movement. These are more than just clever phrase incantations designed to energize a campaign… [they are]songs of sadness, cries of joy, battle anthems and anthems of our movement.
Social justice singer-songwriter Crys Matthews will lead a discussion on how she uses music to not only call, but call.
“I believe in hope,” Matthews said. “As a social justice songwriter, it is my duty to continue to instill this hope and encouragement in the people who listen to my music.”
Matthews, along with his on- and off-stage partner, fellow social justice singer-songwriter Heather Mae, is a co-recipient of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Artist-Activist of the Year award.
At 8 p.m. on February 19, there will be a concert by Matthews. Matthews mixes Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk with original lyrics.
For more information or tickets, visit tybeeposttheater.org