The 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.
Safiya 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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