MILWAUKEE -- We're nearing the end of February, and one community production group wanted to close Black History Month with a bang! Using music, dance and drama, a community-based theater group captured African American history in a production called "We Are The Drum."
"It's mostly about telling a story. It's about how African Americans can help each other and that different races can join together," CAPITA Productions performer Josie Thompson said.
CAPITA Productions put on the show. CAPITA Productions creates multicultural awareness, while providing an outlet for people of all ages to be trained in theater for free. "We teach communities how to act, and not just on the stage, but in everyday life," CAPITA Productions Vice-President K.C. Williams said.
"We Are the Drum" captivates audiences while teaching history. "If one person gets touched out there, then we have done something," "I've learned so much about African history here, and it's just really changed my life," CAPITA Productions performer Berdina Howard said.
The presentation covers everything from slavery to the Civil Rights Movement. One of the highlights was the protests in 1967 for open housing. For 200 days, activists marched in Milwaukee. They faced hostile crowds, but that didn't stop their fight to give African Americans the ability to live where they want within the city. "This open housing got national attention, and was a spearhead for the whole nation, and it happened right here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin," Williams said.
The performance was especially meaningful for Lyneria McGee as she marched in the movement. "At the time, I didn't know the magnitude of what we did, but we actually got open housing for the nation, and not just Milwaukee. It became a bill," McGee said.
CAPITA Productions hopes to continue using theater to spread its message of peace and love to all generations.