Kimberly Hébert and Ryan Michelle Bathe take over Variety‘s Instagram account Tuesday, June 16 at 12 p.m. PT to discuss the upcoming virtual presentation of the late actor, writer and social activist Beah Richards’ “A Black Woman Speaks.”
Richards — who earned an Oscar nod for her performance in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, died in 2000 at the age of 80 — penned and debuted “A Black Woman Speaks” in 1950. The verse performance piece indicts white womanhood for the role that they play in oppressing women of color and challenges the polite notions of feminism while examining the intersectionality of race and gender for Black women in America.
Tiffany Boone (“Little Fires Everywhere,” “Hunters”), Kelly McCreary (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Simone Missick (“All Rise”) and Pauletta Washington (“Genius: Aretha”) will also participate in the live reading, along with Tamela Aldridge, Guinea Bennett-Prince, Yvette Cason, Caroline Cay, Kelly Jenrette, Nikiya Mathis, Kellee Stewart and Jamila Webb. Each participant will read one poem from the collection of 14. The virtual performance has been assembled amid growing support of the Black Lives Matter movement and, specifically, the call for justice for Breonna Taylor.
“Shared by an assemblage of powerful Black women actors who were looking for a means to express their voices, their grief, their anger and their hope in this time of change,” a description of the event reads. “This work disabuses us of the notion that solidarity can be presumed. We must all look at our culpability head on.”
Hébert serves as the founder and artistic director for the non-profit Black Rebirth Collective, which will stream the virtual event from www.blackrebirthcollective.org at 10 a.m. PT on June 19th. Organizers ask that those who view the work donate to the Equal Justice Initiative and The Collective PAC.
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When you assemble this kind of artistry, beauty and power, you KNOW the tectonic plates will shift. Watch on Juneteenth (June 19th), the reading of Beah Richards’, “A Black Woman Speaks” premiering on @thegrio at 9am (EST) followed by a 10am(PST) airing on www.blackrebirthcollective.org. A word in due season. #ABlackWomanSpeaks #WhatWillYouDo #beahrichards