Thursday, June 13, 2013

Notes from Nonviolence: "Fate Comes Knocking"

The evening program for Day Ten of the 12th International Summer Nonviolence Institute left our group agape and overwhelmed!  We were treated to a performance of "Fate Comes Knocking" by the Mixed Magic Theatre.

This was a beautiful near-culmination of our initial study together of King's work and philosophy.  The show mixes (magically!) drama, comedy, music, and media to weave together the story of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., with an emphasis on the impact and role of the everyday people who participated in the movement.

It humanized a person we too often put on a pedestal.  It reminded us of the countless leaders who came before and walked with King.  It highlighted the complicated nature of movements and how in telling "the tale" of Civil Rights we leave out all the intersections the movement included (gender, religion, class).  It reminds us that no group of people - even those involved in a common movement - are monolithic.

It was particularly poignant for us to experience this performance on June 12th, the anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers (put in context well in this timeline).  We were joined by Dr. Bernard LaFayette, who was also attacked that day as another target of a plan by the white supremacist organization the White Citizen's Council to kill prominent leaders in the Civil Rights Movement.

The full cast of Fate Comes Knocking performing.

Fate Comes Knocking addresses frankly issues of gender and other marginalized identities both within the movement and in how its represented now. 

Dr. Bernard LaFayette shares his reactions to the play - which were overwhelmingly gratitude and the desire to make sure the show is performed far and wide!

Institute participant Kojo poses with Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, the author of and performer in the play.

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