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To America: A Live Performance in Green-Wood Cemetery

Friday October 30 2020 • 7:00pm - 8:30pm ET
Available for live streaming

Credit Steven Pisano


How would you have us, as we are?
Or sinking ‘neath the load we bear?
– James Weldon Johnson, To America

Join us in Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery for a night of performance inspired by the poetry of James Weldon Johnson, who is buried at Green-Wood and best known for his anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Curated by Death of Classical and Green-Wood, it will blend music, history, literature, and dance into a single sweeping, shuddering cry into the night.

Featuring poetry by Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes and Terrance Hayes; stories from the lives of Margaret Pine, the last enslaved person in New York State, a young drummer boy killed in the Civil War, former NY Governor DeWitt Clinton, and others; and music by The Harlem Chamber Players, violinist Lady Jess, singers Danielle Buonaiuto, Freddie June, Paul Grosvenor and many more talented souls. It is a lament, a love song, a prayer, and a plea to America in a time of deep uncertainty, in remembrance of all that this nation has been, and all that it can be.

Join us after the performance for a discussion about the creation of “To America” with Liz Player, Executive Director and Artistic Director of The Harlem Chamber Players and Death of Classical Founder and General & Artistic Director Andrew Ousley. Hosted by WQXR’s James Bennett.

Event Details

1 hour and 30 minutes
The Greene Space
44 Charlton St
New York, NY 10014 United States

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