Friday, February 12, 2016

Black History Month is in February

It is more important than ever to take note of this month and recognize the history of people who were systematically oppressed and silenced for decades.  In many cases, this is still true today.   It is only through remembering the timelines and the documented stories that we can try to make the future better.

I know I still have part three and four of my massive Black History Month posts to still put up, but thought I would start off this year with a small one of picture books.


Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass
written by Sean Qualls & Dean Robbins
illustrated by Selina Alko

Good friends Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass meet for tea.

Each one with their own story, they share a conversation. Susan fights for the rights of women and Frederick fights for the rights of his fellow African Americans.


Talkin' About Bessie:
the story of aviator Elizabeth Coleman
written by Nikki Grimes & Barry Moser
illustrated by Earl B. Lewis

Told through the memories of others, this book tells the story of Bessie Coleman, who became the first female African American pilot.

Facing segregation, poverty, gender discrimination and racism, she never let those obstacles break her determination.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Spring Awakening

I love Spring Awakening.  It is my favorite musical and play. 

Thanks to youtube,  I was able to experience the music first and later ordered the official CD from the U.S. (almost two weeks of waiting for it).  It will be a year ago this April that I finally got to see it on stage. 

It was everything I hoped it would be and there was absolutely no censoring of content.  Teenagers discovering sexuality and experiencing sadness.  The controlling nature of parents and homegrown abuse. A generation that feels powerless and voiceless. The music was all there and made more stunning because of the live performance.

That was my experience in hearing and seeing it live.  But what if you had difficulty in hearing the music or could not hear it at all?  There is hope.

The Deaf West Theatre recently wrapped up a Broad way run of the play that involved signing (ASL).  Not just that but the play actually goes a step further and presents actual characters as being deaf, for example, Wendla and Moritz.  

Theatre is something that everyone should be able to experience so it is heartening for me to see people making an effort to make it accessible.  I hope it tours again soon and makes its way to my city so I can experience it for myself.

The below video shows you what it looks like.

If you would like read more about this version of the play, here's a fantastic article about it.  Signs of the Times: 'Spring Awakening' at Deaf West by Linda Buchwald.