The Gist of Freedom   Preserving American History through Black Literature . . . show

The Gist of Freedom Preserving American History through Black Literature . . .

Summary: Join us Sunday & Thursday @ 8 PM The Gist of Freedom weekly live online discussion is a celebration of the African American experience—honoring all the people, past and present, black and white—who have determined to preserve history in literature, craftsmanship and artifact.

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  • Copyright: 2008 All Rights Reserved.


 Crossroads Theatre Company w/ Marshall Jones, III,Producing Artistic Director | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:57:00

Join The Gist of Freedom tonight as we welcome  Marshall Jones, III, Producing Artistic Director Of Crossroads Theatre Company… It is one of a diminishing number of theaters dedicated to the production of and support of black theater, and the only black theater company to be honored with the Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America (1999). LEGACY MONTH 2014 A Series of Special Events Celebrating the Legacy and Heritage Of Crossroads Theatre Company February 9, 16 and March 2               NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson, who co-founded Crossroads Theatre Company in 1978 as young Rutgers graduates, will reunite for the first time in 25 years at a special kickoff event for “Legacy Month” on Sunday, Feb. 9, celebrating the theater’s history and enduring contributions to black theater and the American cultural landscape.           

 Stevie Wonder Adapts, Underground Railroad Love Story Book author Betty DeRamus | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:13:00

 Join The Gist of Freedom, Thursday February 13th, as we welcome author Betty DeRamus, our guest for a special show in honor of Black History Month and Valentine’s Day! NBC announced that it is producing an eight-hour miniseries about love stories on the Underground Railroad, with Stevie Wonder serving as executive producer. The miniseries, titled Freedom Run, is an adaptation of Betty DeRamus’s 2005 book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad. It will focus on three “specific epic journeys and love stories, each based on actual people,” according to NBC. Betty will  talk about her first book, Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad, a collection of true stories about enslaved couples—and a few interracial ones—who took extraordinary steps to avoid being separated  during the slavery era.   Betty's book Celebrates the Black men and women who fought to preserve their relationships during the slavery era. These romantic and heart- wrenching stories  come to life in author Betty DeRamus’s two acclaimed non-fiction books. Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad (Atria 2005) and Freedom by Any Means: True Stories of Cunning and Courage on the Underground Railroad (Atria 2009. Forbidden Fruit is a collection of true stories about black couples (and a few interracial ones) who defied mobs, bloodhounds, bounty hunters and bullets to avoid being separated by slave masters, distance and time. Wrote author Herb Boyd: “Betty DeRamus has tapped a heretofore unknown vein of Black culture: love stories from the Underground Railroad.” The book’s characters include a free black man who voluntarily became a slave to remain with his enslaved wife, and a runaway slave who carried his ailing wife to freedom on his back.  

 Erich McMillan-McCall, Four Little Girls, Free Reading NYC Feb.3 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:55:00

Actors' Equity Association in conjunction with First Corinthian Baptist Church and Executive and Artistic Producer PROJECT1VOICE present FOUR LITTLE GIRLS: Birmingham 1963 by Christina Ham. A special one night only staged-reading to celebrate African American History Month and  commemorating the landmark 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Directed by Seret Scott; Original Music and Arrangements by Kathryn Bostic; MONDAY FEBRUARY 3 at  7:30PM  First Corinthian Baptist Church (1912 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.  Blvd between 115th and 116th Streets in Harlem, USA)  This African American History Month event is free and open to the public (ticketing and entry will be handled on-site, day of show, on a first come, first served basis) and will be sign language interpreted for the theatergoers who are deaf or hard of hearing. A panel discussion will take place immediately following the reading. Topic:  Youth involvement in the Civil Rights Movement then and now.  Doors open at 6:45. Special food and beverage offers at the following Harlem Restaurants on 2/3 before and after the performance: Barra Wine, Cecil's, Cedric's and Red Rooster. The code is PROJECT1VOICE.

 Rapping Grandma, A "G" Thing! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:53:00

C Niambi Steele, Rapping Grandma It's A  "G" Thang explaining the essence of becoming a real "G"; how to be a real "G" in your community; why we need more real "G's" and more!

 Reading Breaking The Chains, ~Lyrics of Freedom, Black Church~ Chp6 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:47:00

Join The Gist of Freedom as we continue our reading of Breaking The Chains! You're Invited!..Come to The African American Museum of Philadelphia as The Gist For Freedom screens the documentary The Contradiction of Fair Hope- And Discuss Mother Bethel's cemetery which was recently unearthed underneath a playground. Register Now!!!! The Contradictions of Fair Hope” Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, chronicles the little-known story of the Fair Hope Benevolent Society in Alabama, one of the nation’s last surviving benevolent societies. They were groups formed in the 1700's  throughout the country to build schools, care for the sick, feed the hungry, and bury the dead. The first society, The Free African Society was established in Philadelphia by Bishop Richard Allen in 1756.  Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, photo of Tubman's personal book of hymns Nat Turner’s Bible   Rex Ellis, a curator Merkerson co-produced and co-directed the film with Rockell Metcalf, who came to the story through a conversation with his 99-year-old grandmother, the oldest surviving member of the Fair Hope Benevolent Society.  Watch the Trailer (215) 574-0380 Adrienne Whaley Click to watch A video on a Historical Philadelphia Cemetery --------------------- 

 Rehearsal #3 w/out changes Underground Railroad Play | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:05:00

READING “THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD” PLAY Written by Leslie Gist & William Beasley  The play has been a dream of Leslie’s for quite some time and now it is coming to fruition. Ms. Sherry Jackson, past foreman of The National Park Service asked Leslie to write a play about the Underground Railroad in a manner that kids could relate to. The theme is that kids in an Underground Railroad Safe House are going on a journey. This reading pulls the audience in as it covers two eras: the past and the present.  Mrs. Gist is working with Harlem Actors. For this rendition, the actors will be seated on the stage in their street clothes, and reading the script. While this is not a full blown production, it is a prelude to what is next.  The Saturday Academy is honored that Mrs. Gist asked our John Wesley family and friends to be the first audience. You are encouraged to come out with our kids and youth, use your imagination, digest some of our history in an alternative manner, and look forward to the next chapter.  Leslie continues to inspire us with all that she does. She has been a friend and staunch supporter of the Saturday Academy since 2010.  Our guests have a three to four hour trip as they are traveling from New Jersey and New York.  Please RSVP by 10 January 2014  Actors Justin W. White,  Fredric Michaels, Winter -Lee Holland and Niambi Steele Point of contact: Betty Brooks, 

 Black Whalers, Entrepreneurs, ACTIVISTS & ABOLITIONIST | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:52:00


 Reading, Black Militias~ Breaking The Chains, author William Katz | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:31:00

Tonight at 8pm learn more about William Lambert on The Gist of Freedom as we resume our reading of William Katz's book Breaking The Chains, Chapter 12 "Black Militias"  William Lambert created the “African American Mysteries; the Order of the Men of Oppression,” a complicated set of rituals that protected the very existence of the Underground Railroad. Lambert was a friend and confidant of well known abolitionist John Brown, who Lambert insisted was a sane and reasonable man who voluntarily sacrificed himself to fan the flames of liberty. Blackburn, Thornton and Ruth (or Lucie)  The Blackburns successfully and bravely escaped slavery from Louisville, KY. They had been settled in Detroit, Michigan, for two years when, in 1833, Kentucky slave hunters captured and arrested the couple. The Blackburns were jailed but allowed visitors, which provided the opportunity for Ruth to exchange her clothes - and her incarceration - with Mrs. George French; Ruth escaped to Canada. The day before Thornton was to be returned to Kentucky, the African American community rose up in protest. While the commotion was going on, Sleepy Polly and Daddy Walker helped Thornton to escape to Canada. The commotion turned into a two day riot and the sheriff was killed. It was the first race riot in Detroit, and afterward the first Riot Commission was formed in the U.S. Once in Canada, Thornton designed, built, and operated Toronto's first horse-drawn carriage hackney cab and cab company. 

 Author, Dr. Humairah Shah! Children's Book~ Sam and the Sugar Bug | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:34:00

Join The Gist of Freedom as iLyasah Shabazz welcomes Dr. Humairah Shah!  Dr. Shah is the author of the children's book, Sam and the Sugar Bug.She  is currently serving her community at the Magicland Dental  office in  Torrance, CA 9050  “Sam and the Sugar bug,” is now available in ibooks. It is a children’s book that teaches the importance of brushing to kid. Your child will fall in love with it. It educates kids in fun and easy way. The illustrations and the sound effects complete the book and bring it to life. This is the direct link to the book.  Free for limited time   Here is a link to preview the video on YouTube.    

 Harvard Prof. Vincent Brown discuss Interactive Revolt Map | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:38:00

Dr. Vincent Brown, Creator of Brilliant Interactive Slave Revolt Map Join The Gist of Freedom Sunday at 8pm ET  ~  as iLyasah Shabzz welcomes Vincent Brown, a professor of African and African-American History at Harvard. "Dr. Brown, has made study of the Transatlantic Slave Trade accessible in a new way. He has created a brilliant interactive map of Jamaican uprisings in the 18th century called, “Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761, A Cartographic Narrative.”  "Brown teamed up with Axis Maps to do the project. “An emerging alliance between historians and mapmakers promises to enlighten public perceptions of black insurrection… debated whether the  insurrections were spontaneous eruptions or a carefully planned affair,”Cartographic evidence developed in collaboration with Axis Maps shows that the rebellion was in fact a well-planned affair that posed a genuine strategic threat, not an indiscriminate outburst.” Deacon Samuel Sharpe THE OUTSTANDING leader of the 1831 Christmas slave revolt! On the last night of the holidays December 27, the St James militia marched on the estate to ensure slaves returned to work. The black revolters  reacted to the militia's presence by setting fire to Kensington estate. By midnight, 16 other estates were burning, and a rebellion was on the way, led by some of Sharpe's most trusted lieutenants. The rebels routed the first militia that confronted them, and roamed over the countryside, destroying plantations. The slavers and their families fled, leaving 50,000 enslaved blacks suddenly free. Sharpe moved among the estates, counselling and praying, but matters were now beyond his control. 

 300 Enslaved Africans sued and Won their Freedom while Still in Bondage | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:35:00

Tonight ...Finally a book that will put the Dred Scott decision in it's proper context! Over 300 Enslaved Africans, like Polly Berry and Lucy Delaney successfully sued for their Freedom while Still in Bondage prior to the infamous racist Dred Scott decision whereupon Justice Roger Taney stated "Slaves had no rights a White Man was bound to respect"  In the past, Missouri courts supported the doctrine of "once free, always free."   ------------- Click and Join The Gist of Freedom Tonight with Author Professor Manisha Sinha! SLAVES WHO SUED FOR FREEDOM -- New research uncovers a little-known force for abolition: "Freedom Suits" Enslaved Africans who took the Slavers to court and WON!  --------------- Slavers growing weary from this trend, Enslaved Blacks Successfully Suing for freedom, Justice Taney and the Slave Institution were forced to retaliate. Subsequently, in March of 1857,  they attempted to strip ALL blacks, (free and enslaved),  from their their citizenship, the right to due process. Prof. Sinha - “We normally don’t think of slaves as a part of the abolition movement,” -But they were, says Manisha Sinha, a professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, whose own book on the subject, “The Slave’s Cause: Abolition and the Origins of American Democracy,” Although many unable to read or write they courageously used thier shackled hand to sign their  X on  petitions for Liberation! Black Abolitionists like, Northup wasn’t unique in trying to escape slavery through the legal system. Historians have long been aware of lawsuits, like La Amistad, brought by enslaved Africans against their owners or captors.  

 Yul Anderson, Fort Mose Preservationist | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:43:00

Book Reading, Breaking The Chains by William Katz with The Gist of Freedom and guest Yul Anderson. 

 Wrongly Convicted Central Park Five Survivor & New NYC Mayor Settling lawsuit | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:41:00

Join The Gist of Freedom and host ILYASAH SHABAZZ, as she speaks with Yusef Salaam, One of the 5 Central Park convicted survivors. Mr. Salaam says that New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s call for a settlement to the suit by the wrongfully convicted five men allows the matter to come to an end.  Read More  In a jailhouse confession following his conversion to Christianity,  Matias Reyes claimed that he raped the Central Park Jogger, exonerating the five Harlem teens who were wrongfully convicted in the infamous racially charged 1989 case.   Reyes, now 31, said he was moved to admit his guilt after witnessing the hard time Wise was having in prison- and to rue the miscarriage of justice that may have been as horrible as the crime that caused it. "What I didn't feel back in 1989, I felt it then," he told Primetime. "I said, 'It's time. I can't believe I let this man in here 13 years of his life, for something that he didn't do.'" Reyes knew that Wise was charged in the Central Park rape, but he said nothing. "You know what it is to be in front of a guy, to sit and watch TV for so many days in the room right there? And you knowing that you did what the guy's accused of and not finding the strength or the desire to tell this man that 'Hey, it's me. You didn't do this. Let me help you out'? On December 19, 2002, on the recommendation of the Manhattan District Attorney, the convictions of the five teens, now men, were overturned. Yusef Salaam had served five and a half years for a crime he did not commit.    

 SLAVE REVOLTS, AUDIO BOOK READING; Black Indians Author, Wm. Katz | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:43:00

Join The Gist of Freedom with host ILYASAH SHABAZZ, (Malcolm X's daughter) and Historian Yule Anderson a Fort Mose preservationist,  as we continue our audio book reading of Breaking The Chains by William L. Katz. This week we read about Slave Revolts, from chapter Nine!

 Madam CJ Walker's Theater, A'Lelia Bundles | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:36:00

Join The Gist of Freedom as host ILYASAH SHABAZZ talks with A'Lelia Bundles about her latest book,  “Madam Walker Theatre Center: An Indianapolis Treasure,” A'Lelia turns her attention to the storied Indiana Avenue building that bears her great-great grandmother’s name, Madam C.J. Walker. The four-story, 48,000-square-foot Madame Walker Theatre Center was completed in 1927, eight years after Walker’s death. Madam C.J. Walker is America's first female self-made Millionaire.  In nearly 130 pages, Bundles shares rare images from the family archives, highlights of the theater’s history and pictures from local photographers such as John Hurst. listeners can purchase an autographed book at 


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