Stage Manager Jean Schultz of Cassopolis sets up a background shot (below) that will be used in the diorama, Kentucky at Sunrise, by Dr. Von Washington, features at this year's International Festival Sunday, Sept. 13.
Stage Manager Jean Schultz of Cassopolis sets up a background shot (below) that will be used in the diorama, Kentucky at Sunrise, by Dr. Von Washington, features at this year's International Festival Sunday, Sept. 13.

Archived Story

How is story told in subsequent tellings of slave raid?

Published 8:37am Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CASSOPOLIS – Whoever tells a story first generally establishes what people consider to be true/right.

Not because it is true or right, but because it lodges in our brains, and succeeding versions have to challenge it.

The Kentucky Raid, and other stories about the Underground Railroad, have been told by white men.

These stories usually focus on the bravery of the Quakers.

How would the story of the Kentucky Raid change if a black playwright told it, 150 years after the event?

Find out on Sunday, Sept. 13. You’ll meet free blacks Samuel Strothers, Katie Tann and Turner Byrd.

You’ll encounter fugitives: Mose, Wiley and Mamie.

The Quakers, Erastus and Sarah Hussey and Stephen Bogue, will be there as well.
The drama is not just about foiling the Kentucky raiders, but about how and if the use of violence is justified.

Von Washington’s Kentucky at Sunrise will be performed at 2 p.m. in the Ross Beatty High School auditorium.

This diorama is the featured performance at the eighth annual International Festival sponsored by the Minority Coalition of Cass County with support from the Kalamazoo Council for the Arts.

Other performers include Sisters of the Nile, Youth of Judah and volunteers from the Institute for International Cooperation and Development in Dowagiac.

The free festival will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Ross Beatty High School in Cassopolis.

In between performances, festivalgoers can purchase ethnic food, arts and crafts and enjoy the prevention fair. For more information contact Ruth Andrews, (269) 445-0269 or andrewsr3@michigan.gov.

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