Black Hoosiers: Untold Tales will be an evening of several theatre performances, including the play "Rhodes Family Incident" and three 10-minute monologues about historic African-Americans. The performances will be followed by a facilitated conversation, lasting 20-30 minutes.
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ABOUT 'RHODES FAMILY INCIDENT'
This 30-minute play, written by Crystal V. Rhodes and in collaboration with Asante Children’s Theater, tells the story of two contemporary college students who grew up in Westfield, Ind., and discover a historical racial incident that challenges their notions of identity and their hometown. The play was inspired by research into African-American history in Hamilton County.
MONOLOUGES TO FEATURE HISTORIC FIGURES
Lillian Thomas Fox (1866–1917)
Lillian Thomas Fox was an journalist and clubwoman active in Progressive Era Indianapolis. She rose to prominence in the 1880s and 1890s as a civic leader and writer for the Indianapolis Freeman, a leading national black newspaper at the time, and the later joined the Indianapolis News as Indiana's first black columnist for a white newspaper.
Dr. Martin Jenkins (1904-1978)
Dr. Martin Jenkins was born in Terra Haute, Ind., and became an academic, whose pioneering work “A Socio-Psychological Study of Negro Children of Superior Intelligence,” was among the first to focus on black children of superior intelligence. Jenkins researched black children of “superior intelligence” in grades 3-8 living in Chicago. Jenkins findings contradicted prevailing intelligence research that suggested that black children of high intelligences were rare.
Willa Brown (1906-1992)
Willa Brown graduated from Wiley High School in Terra Haute, Ind. After earning a master's degree and teaching in Gary, Ind., Brown moved to Chicago and became the first African-American woman to earn a pilot's license (1938) and a commercial license (1939). She co-founded the Cornelius Coffey School of Aeronautics, the first black-owned and operated private flight training academy in the U.S. By 1941, hundreds of men and women had trained under Brown, including many men who later became members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.