EVENT ALERT: Sittin’-In - The Musical debuts at The Salvation Army Kroc Center, Philadelphia - on May 1st and 2nd

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

This is a year of milestones - fifty years ago America was in the throes of the Civil Rights Era and the beginning of the Black Power Era.  Lyndon Baines Johnson was president of the United States, and hard line racists and their racist policies were being taken to task by America's Black youth and civil rights activists.

Lisa Hopkins, a Philadelphia native, grew up hearing about these movements from her mother, who as a young girl originally from Liberia, participated in these acts to hasten the tearing down of Jim Crow and segregationist rules.  

Once again Ms. Hopkins has engaged the talents and  creativity of Philadelphia locals - this time using an all too familiar portion of our history as a backdrop.  It not only commemorates the bravery of our youth in the past, giving homage to the countless thousands who followed their example and subsequently brought down the scourge of Jim Crow and segregation laws; it also serves to educate and inform our contemporary youth, and adults, about a portion of our history, as well as the possibilities that abound when one stands for one's rights.  

A prolific playwright, Ms. Hopkins engaged the community with the Philadelphia version of the Lion King, much to the delight and amazement of the Germantown/Mt. Airy Community.  Her capacity to adapt prose and current events to music is magical - and the effort to bring out latent talents among our youth is totally applaudable (I just made up this word) and commendable on all levels.

For those of us -  including yours truly, who participated in the Sit Ins as youth, aged 10 in Oklahoma City, OK - this will no doubt be a walk down memory lane.  For those who missed the opportunity, this will be an adventure up close and personal.  

The only drawback is that it is presented only for one week end!!  May 1st and 2nd!  With all the efforts, rehearsals, designs, creativity and energy Ms. Hopkins, the cast and crew put into making this a reality, there should at least be a two to three month run!  We must find sustaining ways and meants to support the wonderful talent and creativity that is nascent to Philadelphia.  Ms. Hopkins devotes so much of her time, talent, and energy to bringing out the best in our youth, there have to be ways in which we reciprocate.

The following is an excerpt from the press release on the production.  For those interested in obtaining tickets, please do so quickly - it will be May 1 before you know it - and you don't want to miss this excellent slice of Black history.

For tickets please call 215 844-6098 or lisayhop@msn.com or log on line @ 


Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Sittin’-In Musical debuts on May 1st and 2nd 
at The Salvation Army Kroc Center   
"In light of the recent Ferguson and Staten Island civil unrest, which took place last fall, "Sittin’-In" brings a message to perpetuate peace and justice. This true story was written by Germantown’s own Community Activist and Founder of the Kama-Sahlor Group for Cultural Performing Arts, Lisa Y. Hopkins, who was determined to share her mother’s story. 
 The ‘Bennett Belle’ side of the story has never been revealed in a manner that is thought provoking and emotionally infuriated towards inequality. As Ingrid Wynn enrolls at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, she refuses to accept the Jim Crow laws that lead to a life threatening act of courage. It was the Bennett Belles that first thought of protesting against FW Woolworth (now extinct discount store), who refused to serve Blacks at their ‘All White’ lunch counters. 
Dr. Willa B. Player, President of Bennett at that time advised the students to wait until after the 1959 winter school break to exercise their rights and to gain protection and support from other institutions. So, four male freshmen students - known as the A&T Four - of North Carolina Technical and Agricultural University:  Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeal, David Richmond and Ezell Blair Jr. are outraged with Jim Crow and make plans to orchestrate America’s first civil right’s movement known as ‘The Sit-ins.’
This production is under the artistic direction of Nakia Dillard, a native Philadelphian, actor, writer and Founder of Aikan Entertainment who has theater and television credits with: The Wire, House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and affiliations with actor and director Bill Duke and Sylvester Stallone. Joyce Drayton, owner of the Georgia Gregory Interdenominational School of Music and song writer of’ I’ve been Washed in the Blood’ recorded in 2001 from ECDC Records, which will be performed in one of the scenes by an ensemble of voices from various churches throughout the city. Choreographer J. Craig Bogan-El, who specializes in African dance and drumming, will provide an explosive Liberian dance piece to depict the Liberian culture accustomed to Ingrid’s biological upbringing.
 Kama-Sahlor will also feature J. Eric Churn, a hip/hop and modern choreographer to design dances for the Philadelphia’s American Bandstand scene along with some other surprises.
Sittin’-In production takes place at the luxurious Salvation Army Kroc Center located at 4200 Wissahickon Avenue, with a panel of distinguished clergy, local politicians, community and national activist to engage in an audience talk back regarding racial profiling.
Sittin’-In’ has received grant awards for professional script writing development from the Pa Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund through Councilwoman Cindy Bass, the Theodore Morrow Memorial Fund and funds from the First United Methodist Church of Germantown .
 A Portion of the proceeds are to benefit the Kama-Sahlor Group for Cultural Performing Arts After-school Programs and Summer Camp for Youth."
For tickets please call 215 844-6098 or lisayhop@msn.com or log on line @ 

The Kama-Sahlor Group
534 West Queen Lane
Phila, Pa 19144

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
Contact info:Lisa Hopkins  215 900-1044 lisayhop@msn.com
Stay Blessed &

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