The Mothers of the Movement took to the stage at the Democratic National Convention to talk about their children. They were the Black Lives Matter mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and others who all died due to gun violence or at the hands of police officers.
Now more than a dozen Broadway stars are taking to the stage, rallying in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. A special concert will take place at Columbia University in New York City (Aug. 1, 2016 at 8 p.m.). A group of Broadway community arts activists, called the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective, says that they are responding to the call for action that they felt by presenting a night of unity and solidarity through artistic expression and conversation.
According to a statement from the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective, “an overwhelming number of friends and colleagues in the Broadway community have expressed a deep desire to participate in an open dialogue about the social and racial justice issues that are troubling our nation. The event will bring Broadway performers together with policy reformers, educators, clergymen, public officials, and community leaders to discuss a plan of action. The evening will spark conversation and encourage people to discover their roles as active participants in a movement toward positive change.”
Playbill.com reports that guest appearances include six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, four-time Grammy Award winner India.Arie, Tony Award winners Billy Porter (Shuffle Along, Kinky Boots), Jeanine Tesori (Artistic Director of NYCC) & Tony Kushner (Angels of America). Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Passing Strange), Professor Kendall Thomas (Columbia Law School), Joshua Henry (Shuffle Along), Camille A. Brown (A Streetcar Named Desire), Professor Frank Roberts (NYU), Daniel Beaty, Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton), The Broadway Inspirational Voices, & New York City Center’s cast of THE RUNAWAYS.
Broadway Black, a digital platform dedicated to highlighting the achievements of black theatre artists, will live-stream the event, which can be watched on its website. Follow @BroadwayBlack #BWAY4BLM to join in the conversation. Playbill.com will also share exclusive coverage in conjunction with the event.
Last month, Broadway Black hosted The Blackout Party in conjunction with the Tony Awards to highlight and celebrate the achievements of Black Broadway artists of the 2015-2016 season. “With over seven decades dedicated to recognizing the best talent on Broadway, black performers, production crews, and creative staff have a loyal and engaged following that respect and admire their talent and voice.”