Plays explore lynching through women’s voices

The four-year book collaboration of Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women, is being presented in a two-day event on Friday, Nov. 7 from noon to 12:50 p.m. in the Corbett Theater and on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 3-5 p.m. in the Corbett Theater Lobby.

On Friday, coeditors Kathy A. Perkins and Judith Stephens, will be conducting a lecture on the development of the book and on Saturday there will be a reading of a play and a portion of a few others followed by a discussion and reception.

This book is a collection of plays that center on the horrors of the history of lynching in American culture.

The book has a unique focus because the plays are written by black and white women and date back to the 1910s and most recently up until the early 1990s.

Many people are not aware of this type of play or that lynching is one of the most pressing issues within the African American community.

According to editor Stephens, there was no other book like this and she said that it uses “a literary and artistic tradition of struggle to orient ourselves towards contemporary battles.”

Daryl Harris, a lecturer with the theater department and the institute for freedom studies, said, “I think that it’s a rare opportunity to learn more about the unusual topic, few people know anything about it.”

He also said that it is exciting because of its multiple layers and the way theater is used with political views.

NKU’s departments of theater and dance, literature and language, African American Studies, women’s Studies present the events, along with the office of University Outreach and the Institute for Freedom Studies.

The Saturday event is in collaboration with the Women’s Theater Initiative and will feature readers from the School of Creative and Performing Arts, along with award winning actor Mahogany Scott.

Harris thinks this is a great event to have at NKU because each student is required to take a Race and Gender class and it really ties in with that.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information about the events, contact Daryl Harris at 572-1472.