See Larry Muhammad’s “Double V” at Ali Center Feb. 4 Sunday, Jan 25 2015 

It was “the good war.”

That’s how America portrayed its involvement in World War II: a righteous struggle of freedom against tyranny.

FilsonEventPoster1But America in the 1940s had legal restrictions denying its black citizens the vote, and segregated them in rundown neighborhoods, poor schools and low-paying jobs. Black GIs were assigned to building roads and waiting tables at officers clubs. Military hospitals kept black blood separate from white, and white officers treated Nazi prisoners more respectfully than they did black servicemen wearing the uniform of Uncle Sam.

Crusading African-American newspapers exposed these hateful contradictions with their Double V campaign – victory against Hitler overseas and victory against racism at home. They were harassed by the FBI, lost advertisers and got hate mail from bigots. But led by Louisville Defender publisher Frank Stanley, they helped persuade President Harry Truman to integrate the US military.

February 4 at 6 pm a talented ensemble of Louisville actors will perform a riveting docudrama of the period, “DOUBLE V”, in a Black History Month presentation of the Filson Historical Society and Muhammad Ali Center. The play will be preceded by a setup talk from playwright and director Larry Muhammad, a former Courier-Journal reporter who has written about the historical Black Press USA in Columba Journalism Review and Nieman Reports at The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

WHEN: Feb. 4 at 6 pm

WHERE: Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. 6th St., Louisville

TICKETS: $10 at the door; Free to members of the Filson Historical Society and Muhammad Ali Center

Ali Center to screen MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech for free on Monday Saturday, Jan 17 2015 

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was given in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.By Seiler Smith Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on Monday, Jan. 19, makes a three-day weekend for many. One of the best ways to commemorate the man and honor his legacy is to head over to the Muhammad Ali Center … Continue reading

MAP Louisville makes acceptance possible with fun and … Tupperware? Friday, Jan 16 2015 

dixie3-640x420The fifth annual MAP Louisville fundraiser fights for great causes … all in the name of fun. An acronym for Making Acceptance Possible, MAP will be held this year at the Vernon Club & Lanes on Saturday, Jan. 17, and all … Continue reading

The Brothers Size Brings Powerful Performances Sunday, Jan 11 2015 

The Brothers Size, currently being performed at Actors Theatre, is promoted as a “lyrical tale of brotherly love (that) explores the tension between fear and desire on the elusive road to freedom.”

That is accurate, perhaps, but it doesn’t prepare you for the reality of the play’s raw emotions, street language and battle of wills between two brothers. One brother, Ogun, embodies hard work and the struggle to make a living (he’s an auto mechanic) running a business. His brother Oshoosi is just out of prison, returning home and prevailing upon his brother to help get him back on a path to success. But Ogun’s expectations and Oshoosi’s work ethic conflict, and Oshoosi must also deal with other temptations outside of his brother’s shop.

For 80 minutes, on a bare stage, the brothers explore their roles in life, using the rough and lewd language of the street, accompanied only by an ever-present drum beat. There is only one other character, Elegba, Oshoosi’s cellmate from jail, whose influence is opposite that of Ogun.  He provides Oshoosi with a car, while Ogun pushes his brother to work.

The actors announce their comings and goings and intentions just off stage, then perform them on. Two are shirtless and lean, while Oshoosi wears a wifebeater t-shirt. In the intimate Bingham Theatre, the actors need no props to engage the audience visually.

There’s plenty more to Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s story. It’s not one that I’ll forget soon.

See it at Actors through February 1.

Ben Williamson (drummer) with Ronald Kirk, Che Ayende and Larry Powell in The Brothers Size Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2015 Photo by Bill Brymer

Ben Williamson (drummer) with Ronald Kirk, Che Ayende and Larry Powell in The Brothers Size
Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2015
Photo by Bill Brymer

 

 

 

 

Poetry slam in the Russell neighborhood: Sign up now Thursday, Jan 1 2015 

poetry slamTuesday, Jan. 13, marks the first poetry slam of 2015 at Sweet Peaches, 1800 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. Slams have been around since the early 1980s, so most people are familiar with the structure. They’re competitive spoken-word poetry contests. This is … Continue reading

Kentucky Shakespeare hosts radio play of ‘The Dark Lady of Sonnets’ Saturday, Dec 27 2014 

0By Dari’Anne Hudson A full white moon lights the cobblestone trail, making way for a queen … Queen Elizabeth, that is. Strolling through the palace grounds is routine before she retires, but the adventure with William Shakespeare that ensues is … Continue reading

Parties for the people: A New Year’s Eve roundup Saturday, Dec 27 2014 

nyeSo you made it through Christmas and are ready for a fresh start in 2015, right? Well, you actually have one more big decision to make: What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Will you stay home and watch … Continue reading

FAT Friday Trolley Hop rolls down Frankfort Avenue on Dec. 26 Wednesday, Dec 24 2014 

trolleyIt’s probably best to avoid the malls the day after Christmas — no need to fight for a parking space only to wait in the return line for hours. Those Lucky jeans can be swapped out another day. But if … Continue reading

Author Brenda Duffey stops by McQuixote Books & Coffee for a reading/signing Friday, Dec 19 2014 

Courtesy of McQuixote Books & CoffeeMcQuixote Books & Coffee, the venerable little book store and coffee shop located inside the Tim Faulkner Gallery space in Portland, hosts Portland native and author Brenda Duffey for a reading and signing tonight, Dec. 19. Duffey’s latest book, “The … Continue reading

Last-minute shoppers should head to the Mammoth Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 20 Thursday, Dec 18 2014 

posterThe clock is ticking. Your pulse is racing and your palms are sweaty. There’s only a handful of days left until Christmas, and your shopping list is checkless! You’ve been a bad boy/girl for procrastinating, but there’s still time. I suggest … Continue reading

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