In celebration of Black History Month and the Black Student Movement’s 50th anniversary, the Arts Everywhere initiative and BSM have collaborated on a performance showcase called Black Pioneers: A Creative Celebration, which will be held Friday, Feb. 9 in the Historic Playmakers Theatre from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The showcase's title pays homage to UNC’s first graduating classes of Black students, who worked to desegregate the University from 1952 to 1972. Friday’s performance features an excerpt from the original Black Pioneers Project performed in 2016, which was inspired by transcripts of interviews with students from the Black Pioneers era.
This project was part of an ongoing project called The Process Series, developed by UNC artist in residence and Artistic Director Joseph Megel. The series aims to highlight works in progress and the creative process through artists and performers.
“The stories cover issues centering around roommates and being rejected by white roommates, to receiving lower grades due to being discriminated against, to political engagement and the creation of the Black Student Movement,” said Megel.
Black Pioneers: A Creative Celebration will also feature a preview performance of the one-man play “The Talk" by Sonny Kelly in collaboration with the UNC Department of Communication. The play deals with issues of police brutality and its effect on children realizing their identity in the Black community.