The Black Students’ Association will tackle the hardships of black history in its upcoming production, Unchained: A Black History Program.
Unchained will be performed at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets can be purchased from cast members or a BSA officer. Tickets cost $5 for the general public, $3 for BSA members and $6 if purchased online. To purchase tickets online, visit acu.edu/ome and follow the “Black History Production” link.
The program, which was written and arranged by Khamisie Green, junior music education major from Odessa and president of BSA, touches on issues from slavery to the recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York.
“The goal is to educate ACU and the community on black history,” said Ryan Randolph, BSA adviser.
The play also draws inspiration from slave narratives and the works of respected black authors such as Maya Angelou, something Randolph said is important for people in the community to see.
“It’s one thing to hear what happened, but to see it progress from then to now, it’s kind of a way for us to feel pushed to keep going,” she said.
The play features members of BSA, many of which have never acted before.
Zar’rian Parker, sophomore animal science major from Dallas, has never acted but said this production was almost like a calling to him.
“Unchained is really like the love of God in one play, speaking on our pains from the past and our ancestries pushing to be unchained,” he said.
One particular scene has been the hardest for Parker to do, but he said the best way to give an honest portrayal is to become the character.
“Khamisie sat me down one day during lunch and was like, ‘Actually become the character,'” Parker said. “It is the most difficult thing to do.”
Parker also has a specific goal in mind when he is performing.
“I want it to open eyes, and I also want it to impact others’ lives to speak out on how they feel,” Parker said. “Not only the black community, I want any community that feels like they need to say something to say it.”
Randolph has similar hopes for the play and said she wants it to encourage others to work toward a better future.
“We need to keep speaking because someone did that for us, and we need to keep it up for the next generation,” Randolph said.