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Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre’s “Black Women in American History,” a four-part video series broadcast during February, highlights the contributions and influence of Black women in different areas of American life.
“So many Black women who helped build America are unknown, and I wanted to celebrate and honor their achievements,” said Tim Rhoze, Executive Director of the theater.
The series is a collaboration between Rhoze and Jazzma Pryor, star of the theater’s production of “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” in September 2021. Pryor researched, selected and wrote about the women, and she narrates their stories engagingly as archival photos of them and the places where they lived and worked show on the screen.
The theater releases a new video between five and seven minutes long each Tuesday in February. The subject of each video is not announced beforehand, adding an element of surprise to the series.
In the first video, Pryor recounts the life of Clara Brown, who was born in the early 1800s and was the first African American to settle in Colorado. A thriving entrepreneur, she established and ran a successful laundry business during the Colorado Gold Rush and worked as a midwife, cook and nursemaid.
The second video focuses on Mary Eliza Mahoney, who was born in 1845 in Dorchester, Mass. She was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States and the first African American to graduate from an American school of nursing.
To learn the story of the next honoree, visit the theater’s website Tuesday at noon.