Group to stream play set in Civil Rights period | Native Information

The NAACP branch in Burke County usually hosts a festival to celebrate Black History Month, but was unable to do so this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

News Herald File Photo

By Tammie Gercken Staff Writer

The NAACP Burke County office will be celebrating Black History Month practically this year with a presentation of a play that marks a challenging time during the civil rights movement in America.

The group will stream “Freedom Summer,” a piece performed by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company in Winston Salem on Saturday from 2:00 pm to 2:00 pm, according to Ruth Roseboro, community outreach liaison for the Burke County NAACP.

“Freedom Summer is set against the backdrop of the 1964 Mississippi Voting Rights Project, which saw more than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers work side by side with Mississippians to register African-American voters in the state,” Roseboro said. “These honorable intentions were confronted with acts of hate and violence. The most heinous of all was the murders of James Chaney (a CORE activist), Andrew Goodman (a summer volunteer), and Michael Schwerner (a CORE organizer). It’s a piece of history that is incredibly relevant today. What is more disturbing is that it is a piece of history that far too many have forgotten or unknown. “

The play shows a woman named Nora, who is described as fair-skinned and “starting a new life” as a white woman, while her dark-skinned sister Carrie travels the deep south to register blacks to vote. When the murders take place, the sisters ask “the price of civil rights, black identity and what it means to be free”.

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