Ida B. Wells comes alive on stage in multi-media event by Safiya Bandele

TIdaBWellshe life of Ida B. Wells (1862 – 1931), activist and suffragist, will be presented in a multi-media performance by Safiya Bandele during Women’s History Month: Sunday, March 24, 2013, 4 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza Community Room, 1368 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY 11216. Ticket includes play, meal, beverage and dessert. The event is presented by the International African Arts Festival (IAAF) and Brothers Who Cook. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. The multi-media production is created and performed by Bandele. The performance is also available for schools, community groups, fundraisers, and other special events.

Ida B. Wells was a journalist, educator, wife, mother, suffragist, and internationalist –best known for her anti-lynching work.  At the age of 22 she refused to move to a “colored car” on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad and was forcibly thrown off the train. Her subsequent lawsuit launched her autobiography Crusade for Justice.  Using Wells’ statement “I am an anomaly to myself and others,” Safiya Bandele presents the life of this fierce, uncompromising woman as a model for women activists and as an inspiration for all women.

In a one-hour multi-media event, Bandele presents the following themes in Wells’ life: gender defiance, critical resistance, community organizing, and internationalism.  Bandele talks, chants, dances against a visual backdrop of southern horrors/lynching and the haunting music of “Strange Fruit.” Her presentation includes an arresting  interpretation of the feelings of the trees on which the lynched bodies, the “strange fruit” – were hung. Also examined are Wells’ friendships and conflicts with notable historical figures – Fredrick Douglas, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Susan B. Anthony.

safiyaSafiya Bandele resides in Brooklyn, New York. She recently retired after a 34-year career at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York where she served as instructor, Women’s Advocate and Director of the Center for Women’s Development.

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5 responses to “Ida B. Wells comes alive on stage in multi-media event by Safiya Bandele

  1. Ida Wells was not only a major force in suffrage, she was the “Rosa Parks” of her day, as well with the train incident you mentioned. Excellent post!

  2. It’s crazy how something like this could happen but someone like that we need. A Rosa Parks is able to make change and this was the perfect time to do so. I feel that it could have went differently if someone like that wasn’t around.

  3. I will not miss this performance dedicated to Ida B. Wells for nothing. I live in New York and I can definitely get to Brooklyn without a problem. We need to support more these performances to educate the youth and as well as the adults. I remember reading a short story about Ida B. Wells on a magazine in the past and I was really moved by her courage and conviction, but unfortunately I did not continue up on learning about her after that. This will be a good opportunity for me to learn more about her and to pay tribute to a great woman.

  4. I hope you went. I hear that the performance was sold out!!!! No surprise. Safiya puts on an excellent presentation and it’s potent content.

  5. Yuli Bartholomew

    I think it’s great that Ida B. Wells is being honored. She was a gutsy woman. If she were around today, she’d make a whole lot of people uncomfortable. Wanna get up and move to the other side of the room. I bet this performance is truthful. Not like the politicians who are starting to jump on the suffrage bandwagon and act as if they have always loved the suffrage movement. I bet their grandfathers and great grandfathers thought that women voting was a rotten idea and said so.

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