The piece is in four scenes, taking place at a dramatic intersection in each of the four protagonist’s
lives and featuring many of their own words:
“I have borne children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with a mother’s grief,
none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? – Sojourner Truth
“Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at the sun’. We might not land on the sun
but at least we would get off the ground” – Zora Neale Hurston
“Paintin’s a lot harder than pickin’ cotton. Cotton’s right there for you to pull off the stalk, but to paint,
you got to sweat yo’ mind” – Clementine Hunter
“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired...We didn’t come all this way for no two seats!” – Fannie Lou Hamer
Sojourner Truth was a woman of remarkable intelligence despite her illiteracy. An ex-slave and fiery abolitionist,
a figure of imposing physique, a riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and
originality. Truth became a national symbol for strong black women - indeed for all strong women. Zora Neale Hurston
is regarded by many as the leading African American woman writer. As one of the first people to recognize the power
and importance of African American folklore, she traveled the South, gathering folk tales which she collected and
published. Hurston was a dynamic personality who lived a dramatic life; achieving fame, but dying in obscurity.
Clementine Hunter is recognized as one of America’s leading folk artists, depicting the rural life of African Americans
in the South. Her bold exuberant style defies conventions of traditional art and is deeply personal and moving.
Fannie Lou Hamer had little formal education, but became a dynamic speaker and civil rights worker whose special
energy and persistence in the face of tremendous obstacles such as childhood polio and physical and economic
retaliation for her numerous actions in the cause of civil rights.
ABOUT THE WRITER, Kim Hines
From childhood, Minneapolis Minnesota native Kim Hines has pursued a multifaceted career as a playwright, actor, and
stage director. Works written by Ms. Hines have been performed throughout the United States including at the Kennedy
Center in Washington D.C. She is a recipient of the Bush Fellowship Award and also the Minnesota State Arts Board Grant
for playwrighting. Ms. Hines holds a BA in Speech & Theater and Visual Art from Macalester College. She is currently
an Associate Artist at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis and writes a column for the MN Women's Press called "Hines Sight."
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR, Akin Babatunde
Mr. Babatundé is an accomplished actor, director, and writer whose theatrical career spans Broadway, regional theatre, film and
television. He has been a resident company member of prestigious theatrical institutions throughout the country: Trinity Rep
(Providence, R.I.), Alley Theater (Houston, TX), La Mama Theater (NY City) and the Dallas Theater Center. He is founder and artistic
director of Vivid Theater Ensemble of Dallas and founder of Ebony Emeralds Classic Theater Company. Mr. Babatundé was the first
African-American to direct for the Dallas Shakespeare Festival in the celebrated diverse production of Taming of the Shrew in 1993.
As a writer Mr. Babatundé's work has been commissioned by Florida Stage, La Mama Theater, the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs,
Brown University, the Black Academy of Arts and the and Core Ensemble. His most recent work Shakespeare – Midnight Echoes tours
in Texas paying homage to black performing artists who performed Shakespeare from slavery to the present. He has toured extensively
with Core Ensemble in Of Ebony Embers – Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance. His one-man show, Before the Second Set – A Visit with Satchmo has received critical acclaim at theaters across the country. Mr. Babatundé wrote and starred in Blind Lemon Blues, which toured
in Europe (Paris, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam) and received rave notices in the New York Times at its 2004 New York premiere at
Central Park's Summer Stage. Television appearances include Law and Order and Wishbone, the PBS literary show for children.
His work has been awarded a Dallas Observer Best Actor Award (the first African-American to receive this distinction), 1991 and 2004 Dallas Critics Forum Award, the 2004 Legacy of Success, and the Alvin Ailey Performing Arts Award. He received the prestigious Individual Artists Grant from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council to create a new work Harvest of Voices based on oral histories.
Mr. Babatundé is a renowned arts educator, having undertaken five long-term artist residencies in underserved communities in Florida, creating new music theatre works alongside at-risk teens and community members. Theater impresario Ellen Stewart of LaMama Theater describes him as "one of those rare geniuses who comes into our lives." Mr. Babatund&eacue; holds a Master of Arts degree in Arts and Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas.