CA musical teaching Black History goes on the road
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Inside the Safe Credit Union Performance Arts Center, a side of history seldom revealed awaits.
This is “Our Story,” a Black History musical.
Creator Brandon Brown is challenging minds to reconsider what they think they know.
"One thing is clear, anytime I ask a simple question what have you learned for Black History, it’s slavery or segregation."
Off stage, Brown is CEO of School Yard Rap, a company creating educational content.
When the mic is in his hand, he’s "Griot B," spitting bars about Black inventors.
More about the musical
The musical covers pre-colonization through the 1930s.
There are mentions of the all-female military, hailing from western Africa.
Area students learned about historical Black colleges and universities where drumline and stepping are a storied tradition.
The performance comes at a time when conversations on race leads to fiery debates, especially what can and cannot be taught in the classroom.
"But you got to know the truth. You have to understand the truth. You have to accept the truth for you to be able to accept things to change that truth. Or at least change things about the systems that came about the truth," Brown spoke.
Taking the musical on the road
So, Brown uses the musical as a soft landing for talking about race.
Crowd participation is a must, which may be easy when students are the audience.
But for the first time, “Our Story” is opening up to the general public, hitting more than 10 California cities.
When asked why he's taking the show on the road, Brown said this.
"I think I’m traveling on this with the road because we can’t work in isolation. We have to make sure – or at least my focus as an educator, as a Griot – I’m educating everyone and trying my best to bring that education in places where it may not normally be accepted and definitely in places where it’s not being taught."