I can't believe it's been two weeks since the successful Black History Month launch event for my latest production endeavor, "Black Broadway on U". It was a fun, inspiring and empowering evening -- one that is illuminating an extremely important storytelling journey for me! View event gallery here: http://blackbroadwayonu.com/gallery/
As a child, I was deeply influenced by my grandparents and relatives' stories about the heydays of my native D.C.'s "Black Broadway" era within the U Street corridor before, during and after the Harlem Renaissance. Known as the "city within a city" this African-American community was the intellectual, arts, cultural and entertainment hub for Black America from the early 1900s to late 1950s. Our nation's capital was still a segregated city; African-Americans were not "free" to enter "white"establishments. Ironically, it was this very segregation aka "Jim Crow" laws that spawned this revolutionary era known as D.C.'s "Black Broadway".
I aim to produce a "living book" multimedia project that will preserve this under-told story and connect today's audiences (young and old) to the historical and hidden contributions of this era's iconic African-American entertainers, business owners, culturists and intellectual (community) stakeholders. I invite you to participate in something really important to our community and me; please support me as I embark on this new storytelling territory and help me raise funds to support this amazing production endeavor. All donations to "Black Broadway on U" are tax-deductible. Please visit project's website and donate on-line: http://blackbroadwayonu.com/
Your financial contributions will allow me to interview the "living voices" that remain today from D.C.'s "Black Broadway on U" era like Virginia McLaurin (105 years old who still works at a D.C. charter school) and Therrell Smith (96 years old, ballet teacher who taught Virginia Johnson, artistic director, Dance Theatre of Harlem), among many others. Additionally, it will help us fund; website hosting, project research, post-production, event marketing and advertising.
With your support together we can a create multimedia legacy that will ensure that "Black Broadway on U's" story will not fade away and will live on for many generations to come. Many thanks in advance...your support means the world to ME!
Shellée M. Haynesworth
"Black Broadway on U"