Veteran historic re-enactors teach black history through theater

Black History Month
Black history reenactors in costume

Black history reenactors in costume in “Teaching Black History Through Theater” (Albany Institute of History and Art)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In honor of Black History Month, the Albany Institute of History and Art will tell the stories of prominent African American figures from history with local re-enactors embodying those roles.

“This unique group of actors has been portraying these people and keeping their legacies alive for more than ten years. They are the bridge to our heritage,” says performer and event organizer Donald Hyman.

On February 1 at 2 p.m., Teaching Black History Through Theater depicts the lives of black history luminaries Judge James C. Matthews of Albany, Sojourner Truth of Rifton, Moses Viney of Schenectady, and Solomon Northup of Hebron, as played by Capital Region community members Hyman, Penny Meacham, Walter Simpkins, and Clifford Oliver.

Presenters and re-enactors portraying famous African Americans from the area will discuss how theatrical performance helps tell unexplored stories of significant figures in history.

Dancer Estreja Turner, 16, from Latham and the gospel choir from First Israel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Albany will also perform at the event, which includes an audience question and answer session and light refreshments.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. to this first-come, first-served event offered with admission to the Albany Institute of History and Art, which is $10 and under.

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