ABOUT THIS PROGRAM
Boys to Baghdad - 6:30 PM
Join us for a sneak peak of the award-winning drama, Boys to Baghdad! The main character, Huey Shareef, graduates high school and joins the army to see the world, leaving life as he knew it behind. He and fellow soldiers form a band of brothers but not before overcoming differences of race, music, politics and religion.
A conversation follows with the cast and playwright – Charlotte’s own Rory D. Sheriff – who served in Desert Storm.
Interested in buying tickets to the performances September 12 - 21? Click here.
Once I Was A Panther: Poet Melvin E. Lewis - 7:30 PM
Join the Gantt as we conclude our exploration of Black August with writer Melvin E. Lewis. In collaboration with CrownKeepers, we reflect on the many ways culture can be experienced as resistance and reliance. In addition to sharing his poem, Once I Was A Panther, Lewis will discuss the Black Panther Party and its official organ – The Black Panther Newspaper – in progressive organizing, the literature of liberation struggles, sustainable community programs and institutions, and the Party’s relevance in today’s political climate.
Continue your exploration of differing perspectives in Question Bridge: Black Males. This exhibition opens a window onto the complex and often unspoken dialogue among African-American men through a series of thought-provoking questions.
About The Speaker
Melvin E. Lewis is a poet, writer of fiction, essayist and member of the Illinois Black Panther Party History Project. He chronicles the lives of former Black Panthers and members of the Rainbow Coalition. In addition, his creative and bilingual work has appeared both nationally – in Afri-Hispanic Review, African American Literature Review, The Black Panther Party, The Black Scholar, Obsidian, The Fayetteville Press and Fayetteville Observer – and internationally in Canada, England, France, Trinidad & Tobago and in South Africa, where he won the Red Tribal jiggle prize. Lewis is a Special Correspondent at 107.7 FM in the Sandhills of North Carolina and Professional Continuity Practitioner and Director of Emergency Management at Fayetteville State University. He also teaches courses on emergency preparedness, sustainability and popular culture.
CrownKeepers exists to sustain the arts and creative culture in Charlotte by providing art and trade-based education to those lacking creative opportunities and outlets; supporting all-level artists by creating platforms to celebrate their craft(s) and their entrepreneurial initiatives; creating art-filled experiences; as well as boldly practicing empowerment across communities. CrownKeepers is owned by Dupp & Swat, a creative studio in Charlotte.
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