Celebrate Juneteenth With Historical Figures Rosa and Thurgood

Published: June 06, 2022 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 3 minutes

Step back in time and celebrate Juneteenth National Freedom Day with the stories of historical figures Thurgood Marshall and Rosa Parks. Local actors Janice Brooks and Derek Charles Livingston will present An Hour with Rosa and Thurgood on June 14 at 7 p.m. at the Johnson Center for Community Arts and Education in Cedar City.

Brooks will perform the Rosa Parks section from her show “Traveling Shoes” in which she portrays a number of influential African American women. Livingston will present a small section of the one-person play “Thurgood,” which will be offered in its entirety in September and October as part of the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2022 Season.

Juneteenth Celebration with Janice BrooksJanice Brooks brings the wisdom and grace of civil rights advocate Rosa Parks to life, performed through dramatic portrayal, narrative storytelling, poetry and song. Brooks is an inspirational visionary and designed, performed, and debuted “Traveling Shoes” in 2014. “Rosa Parks, often referred to as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, is a powerful shero to me,” said Brooks. “Her resolute countenance and bravery remains a living testament to the power of social activism and resilience, even in the face of adversity.”

The 90-minute, one-woman dramatic portrayal oral history show, features the reenactment of eight courageous African American she-roes. Brooks will perform the Rosa Parks section on June 14. Brook’s vocation as a public affairs strategist, business consultant, public speaker, living histories dramatist/storyteller, freelance writer and community activist all reflect her creative genius.

Juneteenth Celebration with Derek Livingston“Thurgood” will be presented by Derek Charles Livingston, interim artistic director and director of new play development at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Livingston has previously performed “Thurgood” at the Las Vegas Little Theatre. In addition to an extensive career stewarding new plays, he has also been an actor and director for over thirty years.

In the acclaimed one-man play, attendees witness the transformation of a young, spirited dissenter into a pensive, wise justice. Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer and civil rights activist, was the first African American Supreme Court justice. From his early days as a civil rights lawyer to his years on the highest court in the land, he stood for an end to segregation and to uplift the standing of all Americans.

“Thurgood Marshall was such an important American and enacting the story of his life is an endeavor I am very proud and humbled to present to our SUU and Cedar City communities, as well as the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s audiences in general,” said Livingston. ”I hope that the small section presented on June 14 entices people to come and see the whole show this fall in our Anes Theatre.”

For the first time in its history, Southern Utah University is honoring the Juneteenth holiday with a weeklong celebration of freedom. This year’s theme, Juneteenth: A Past, Present, and Future American Celebration was chosen to invite all to learn and reaffirm the shared history and shared future of American communities, and to celebrate the progress made as a nation to fulfill the founding principle of freedom.

The T-Bird family and Cedar City community are invited to join the events, learn and celebrate. For additional information and events, visit suu.edu/juneteenth.

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