‘Strong and Able To Fight’

“… I prayed to God to make me strong and able to fight, and that’s what I’ve always prayed for ever since.”  — Harriet Tubman, 1865

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Last night’s performance of Harriet’s Return, a one-woman play about Harriet Tubman written by and starring Karen Jones Meadows, sold out! And Karen received a spontaneous and resounding standing ovation from the audience of over 400 people.

The play kicked off the “Heritage & History” programming series that I collaborated with the Gantt Center to create this year and that Duke Energy is generously sponsoring. The series will feature “remarkable experiences with renowned culture keepers”. One luminary presenter is scheduled per quarter.

During Karen’s visit to Charlotte, she participated in a “lunch and learn” with about 50 Duke Energy employees last Friday. On Saturday, she led “Culture in the Quarter,” a hands-on workshop with local youth and families.

The lunch talk, workshop, play about Harriet and Karen’s personal story were highly inspiring and proved ideal for celebrating strong, fierce women (praying to be one) during Women’s History Month and on International Women’s Day.

Below are photos from the past week.

— VF

 

Celebrate Extraordinary Women with ‘Harriet’s Return’

I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say — I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Harriet Tubman at a suffrage convention, NY, 1896

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A favorable aspect of my work is collaborating with an eclectic mix of philanthropic institutions, cultural organizations, arts groups, businesses, schools and fascinating people around the world.

A current project involves the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and its new HERITAGE & HISTORY series funded by Duke Energy. The program series features nationally noted artists and scholars who are preserving Black culture through an array of disciplines and media.

KAREN JONES MEADOWS (of Karen Jones Meadows Now), an award-winning playwright, actress and educator, kicks off Heritage & History as the featured “culture keeper” in March—Women’s History Month. Once a Charlotte resident, Karen was a regular performer and creative force at the Afro-American Cultural Center (now the Gantt Center). She’s returning to the city to perform her one-woman play, Harriet’s Return: The Legendary Life of Harriet Tubman, which originated as a small project for the Afro-Am in the 1980s. Since then, Karen’s signature theatrical work, in which she plays 30+ characters, has evolved into a critically acclaimed production and phenomenon with stagings throughout the U.S. and internationally each year.

Come experience Karen’s mesmerizing performance in HARRIET’S RETURN at Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, March 8. Get your tix here!

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