Home Arts Poetic Play at Library Features African American Voices

Poetic Play at Library Features African American Voices

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by Margaret Blanchard

MONTPELIER— The Kellogg-Hubbard Library will present “Our Dream Deferred: Past, Present, and Future,” a play by Sue Morris, of Marshfield, that features the words of African American poets on April 20 at 7 p.m. The running theme throughout the play is “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes.

“I have been involved in the civil rights movement since before I could walk,” Sue explains. “My parents were very active. My mom was a member of the Negro Labor Vanguard in New Jersey and I did some activities with them. I was at the first March on Washington and stood about 100 feet from Dr. King when he gave his famous Dream speech.”

Sue was also a member of W.E.B. DuBois club in Newark, New Jersey. She helped form the Renner Avenue Freedom School, to protest racism in the schools, which her younger brother attended. She worked for the election of the first black mayor in Newark and participated in the civil rights movement and in the antiwar movement (leading singing at a protest of 400 people in Newark’s Military Park), and the United Farm Workers movement to unionize by boycotting grapes, bringing her children to march and sing on picket lines.

“My most important political work,” she adds, “was raising children and instilling in them the values I cherish, watching those values play out in their lives as they raise their own children.”

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“Our Dream Deferred” was first performed by Harambee, the minority student organization in the 1980s. Poets included are Marcus Christian, Waring Cuney, Paul Dunbar, Carl Hines, Langston Hughes, James Johnson, Pauli Murray, Melvin Tolson, Jean Toomer, Margaret Walker and Gordon Watkins.

Readers for this April performance in Vermont are: Paij Wadley-Bailey, Sha’an Mouliert, Lance Bailey, Jay Moore and Cheniece Goding.

Sue Morris is an active member of Occupy Central Vermont and a less-active member of the Vermont Progressive Party, working for socialism, equality and an end to capitalist exploitation and U.S. imperialism. With her partner, John, she now works on environmental issues in addition to economic ones, trying to minimize our impact on the earth. At home they eat entirely organic foods, which Sue thinks is very important for their health and the health of the planet. They built and live in an underground house made largely of recycled materials.