“The Color Purple” has officially set the stage for Black History Month at the Majestic Theatre with their San Antonio Premiere on Tuesday evening.
The show is based on the Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the subsequent film adaptation. It then got the Broadway treatment by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.
It tells the story of Celie (Adrianna Hicks), a woman who is forced to marry Mister (Gavin Gregory). Although her relationship with Mister comes with challenges, she finds the strength to overcome those obstacles and discovers her voice within her world.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than welcoming the Tony-Award winning production of ‘The Color Purple’ to our city,” said Emily Smith, Majestic Theatre general manager. “We’re thrilled to have the cast and crew join us at the Majestic this week and are honored that San Antonio is able to host this lauded production. It’s a story that journeys one woman’s tale to empowerment.”
In the United States, there are an estimated 46.8 million African Americans. Twenty nine percent worked in lucrative and growing areas like business, management, and science and art occupations just two years ago with numbers trending upwards, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week on Feb. 12, 1926 to commemorate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded to a month. Since then, U.S. Presidents have proclaimed February as National African-American History Month.
San Antonio is currently celebrating the Tricentennial with yearlong festivities that will highlight the city’s History and Education, Arts and Culture and Community Service.
It is expected to bring in new visitors from around the world with an economic impact study showing an additional 263,000 visitors to our city in 2018, according to Mayor Nirenberg. This will generate an impact of $119 million. On average, there are 34 million annual visitors in San Antonio.
With Tricentennial events already in full swing, the following are opportunities to celebrate Black History Month:
History Preservation of African American Landmarks in San Antonio
National Humanities Medalist and San Antonio Everett Fly will discuss the historic preservation of African American landmarks in San Antonio He will also discuss the influence of the community way of life and organization on its architecture and landscape.
Thursday, February 22 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Texas A&M University San Antonio Main Campus at Vista Room in the Central American Building.
Telling Our History Our Way
Writers and Poets will speak out about the projection of African American role in history and society. They will also explain the importance on why their perspectives count. For more information, call (210) 207-9180 or visit www.sapl.org.
Saturday, February 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Carver Library, 3350 E. Commerce
“Walk on the River: A Black History of Alamo City” Film Screening
Presented by Melaneyes Media/9logic films, this event is a film screening of a documentary recorded here in San Antonio chronicling the contributions of African Americans have made to the city. This will be the premiere of this film and is free to the public. Saturday, Feb. 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Carver Branch Library, 3350 E. Commerce St.
“Something to Say: McNay Presents 100 years in African Art”
The McNay Art Museum is proud to announce four groundbreaking African American Art exhibitions opening in Spring 2018. “Something to Say: The McNay Presents 100 years of African American Art;” “30 Americans: Rubell Family Collection;” and “Haiti’s Revolution in Art: Jacob Lawrence’s Toussaint L’Ouverture Series” are officially opened. The exhibit, “4 Texans: The Next Chapter,” will open on March 1.
For more information, visit www.mcnayart.org. They will be on display until May 6 at the McNay, 6000 N. New Braunfels Ave.
“We are honored to present this extraordinary range of community-building exhibitions concurrently,” said Richard Aste, McNay director. “They exemplify the museum’s commitment of equity, inclusion and social consciousness as well as artistic excellence.”