Please join 2013 Rocket Grants Award recipients Nedra Bonds and Dr. Nancy Dawson for the culmination of their project If Da Dirt Could Talk. There will be three performances of Dr. Dawson’s play Stories From Da Dirt at venues around Wyandotte County, KS, over the weekend of June 13-15:
Friday, June 13, 2 PM, New Chelsea Elementary School, 2500 Wood Ave, Kansas City, KS 66104
Nedra Bonds worked with children at Quindaro Elementary and at Stony Point South Elementary to create a series of quilts highlighting modern day community heroes, and this performance will be primarily for the children. The quilts will be on display at all the performances.
This venue will feature an abbreviated version of the play. If Da Dirt Could Talk will be first on the program, which means the performance should begin between 12.30 and 1 PM. There will be many food vendors and lots of tents with interesting information to explore, before and after the play. Please, bring lawn chairs and have your walking shoes ready, as parking may be challenging.
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
The celebration of June 19th was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants.
Juneteenth almost always focused on education and self improvement. Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past. Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.
Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop. More traditional and just as popular was the barbecuing, through which Juneteenth participants could share in the spirit and aromas that their ancestors – the newly emancipated African Americans, would have experienced during their ceremonies. Hence, the barbecue pit is often established as the center of attention at Juneteenth celebrations.
Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing. Source.
Sunday, June 15, 2PM, in the Old Quindaro Cemetery, 34th and Sewell, Kansas City, Kansas 66104
If you wish to come early, you can enjoy the view and visit graves, including some famous Jazz musicians and Civil War Soldiers.
Please, bring lawn chairs and have your walking shoes ready, as parking may be challenging.
The town of Quindaro, in what is now Kansas City, Kansas was founded in 1856 as a port of entry for free soil immigrants into Kansas. The principal founder was Abelard Guthrie, who named the town for his Wyandot Indian wife, Nancy Quindaro Brown. The town site stretched from 17th to 42nd Street and from Parallel to the Missouri River. The Missouri River was then west of the present location, exposing a rock ledge that formed a natural levee for steamboat landings.
Quindaro became an important station on the Underground railway, with slaves escaping from Platte county crossing the river in small boats and secret runs of the Parkville-Quindaro Ferry. The runaways hid with local farmers before traveling to Nebraska and freedom. With the outbreak of Civil War the town was abandoned by most of the inhabitants. The young men enlisted and their families moved to other communities for safety. The town’s incorporation was revoked by the Kansas State legislature in 1862 and the site never fully revitalized. Source.
Both artists are natives of Quindaro, and Dr. Dawson’s runaway slave grandmother, Elizabeth Thompson, is buried in the Old Quindaro Cemetery.