Sneak Peak: The Green Book

 

It’s Black History Month!

In historic Birmingham, of course,  there are so many ways celebrate the achievements of African Americans, remember how far we have come, and to chart the course for going further tomorrow.

This past Thursday I had the pleasure of attending an early showing of  Calvin Ramsay’s The Green Book at Red Mountain Theatre. The showing  was hosted by Wells Fargo at a Black History Month reception.

The play is a work of historical fiction taking place in St. Louis during the days of Jim Crow when quality, safe accommodations for black travelers in the south were limited. The Negro Traveler’s Green Book was an annual travel guide published by retired postal worker, Victor Hugo Green. Green identified as well as reviewed restaurants, gas stations, and lodging that served African Americans or would be safe to use.

The play tells the story of a serendipitous and emotional encounter between two house guests at a Green Book listed home.

The play starts slow, but warms up fast. There’s plenty of laughable moments, but the play drives some serious points home. Be on the look out for some startling parallels between  the 1950’s and 2017. I’m planning to go see it again, so I can retain more of the “whoa” moments in the dialogue.

It’s showing at the Red Mountain Theatre for three days only: February 17th-19th. Don’t miss it!  With tickets  starting at 15 bucks, there is no reason not to go. Perfect for a night out with friends  or a date — It was a work event, so I took my mom and she loved it too. (What? She’s pretty hot.)

Any-who… I would follow it with some coffee, cocktails, or both and some reflective conversation.  If you don’t have a date or friends, you can take me.

The play is being presented in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center.

You can purchase tickets and find out more about the show here.

How are you celebrating Black History Month in our beautiful Birmingham?

Keep lifting your voice to sing Birmingham.

-A City Girl

A City Girl’s Guide to: DNC Pitch Party

Monday July 21, 2014

Bir-ming-ham, D-N-C, We’ll see you in 2016!

Imagine walking into a crowd of cheery people, chanting, screaming and waving flags. This was the scene  as the Democratic National Convention Delegates pulled up to Iron City Birmingham in, of course, all black SUV’s.  You better believe that if I had anything to do with it, Birmingham was going to look like the livest city  ever!

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I met up with some good friends of mine in Atlanta  on Sunday, before we headed back to Birmingham to attend the  city’s Democratic National Convention 2016: “Pitch Party.”

Me with a couple of good friends at Atlantic Station

Me with a couple of good friends at Atlantic Station

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In an attempt to show off the city, I took my friend Adrienne to Rouge Tavern on 2nd Avenue for dinner before the party. It was my first time being there as well, but the space definitely reminded us of a place we went while attending Howard. The food and atmosphere is great. Not to mention, there is a running group that meets there every Monday to run to Highland Park and back.

 

When we arrived at Iron City  there was already a line formed outside for people without tickets. We didn’t have tickets, but managed to find a women who had several extra as we were waiting in line. #Favored

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We entered to find Homer Logan of Just a Few Cats twisting and jumping  all over stage to some funky renditions of classic oldies. The top two levels were packed, but we found the dance floor was practically empty. After chatting with a few familiar faces, including fashionista Erin Hill of BoutiqueMel, we headed for the dance floor.  We began electric sliding and before we knew it  the band, Just a Few Cats, was giving us a  spicy version of the electric slide. Being the partiers that we are, we began pulling ladies and gents to the dance floor from the surrounding wall.  Before we knew it, we were “going in” (see colloquialism definition below)  dancing to Logan’s Beyonce medley.

For my formal literary friends.

For my formal literary friends. 

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Just a Few Cats

Just a Few Cats takes the stage.

Just a Few Cats performs  on Iron City stage at the DNC Pitch Party.

Just a Few Cats performs on Iron City stage at the DNC Pitch Party.

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I also bumped into Ms. Isis Jones of 98.7 Kiss FM on the dance floor. She was recently named one of Birmingham’s Most Beautiful People by Birmingham Magazine.  I can definitely see why.

Isis Jones of 98.7 Kiss FM

Isis Jones of 98.7 Kiss FM

Not too long after, a young lady asked my friend and I to go help welcome the DNC delegates outside. We headed out there, but not before we took a picture  of City Council President, Jonathan F. Austin, holding our signs.

Digression Alert: Having just moved back, I had absolutely no idea who he was. President Austin  was so humble and down to earth. When I told him I was an event blogger proceeded to give me his card. I quickly threw it in my purse, thinking I would use it to tag him on Facebook later on. It was until I saw him on stage an hour later that I found out who he was. I also had a similar experience with Councilwoman Valerie Abbot.  The idea of tangible leadership is such a refreshing change from New York politics. I’ve definitely been motivated to get involved, but I digress.

Birmingham City Council President, Johnathan F. Austin, shows his support of Birmingham as the host site for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Birmingham City Council President, Johnathan F. Austin, shows his support of Birmingham as the host site for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Once outside, we found some size small t-shirts and a  diverse crowd of great people.

Supporters gather outside of Iron City to welcome the DNC delegates

Supporters gather outside of Iron City to welcome the DNC delegates

Unfortunately, my camera died before the delegates got there, so I was reduced to camera phone pictures. No matter, the rest of the evening was like a pep rally for the city of Birmingham.   We sung “Sweet Home Alabama” in unison, and I don’t think it gets more real than that. Many state and city leaders made appearances. Mayor William Bell, did not disappoint with a speech boasting his  confidence in Birmingham’s ability to take on the challenge. His big speech was followed by an outpour (it was actually more like a trickle) of red, white and blue balloons. Somehow, there was also a flurry of miniature blue and white Pepsi-Cola beach balls??! The balloons were great in the moment, but there did ensue 4 or 5 minutes of popping them as the stage transitioned  for the Black Jacket Symphony.  Next time, I would definietly suggest going with confetti.

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Pepsi-Cola beach ball that fell from  the sky. Uh, thanks Pepsi!

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Mayor William Bell pumps the crowd up along with other city and state leaders, including Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

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This happened as we were singing Sweet Home Alabama. I  like to call it balloon volley ball. 

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Black Jacket Symphony

Black Jacket Symphony takes the Iron City stage.

All in all, this event was great fun. I feel tremendous hope for the City of Birmingham. I know that I came to just the right place at just the right time. #fingerscrossedforbham

There are currently six cities, including Birmingham, bidding to become the site of the 2016 Democratic National Convention.  The other cities are Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York.

Birmingham was the first stop for DNC Delegates.

 

Do you think Birmingham has a chance? Leave a comment and let me know!

 

Happy Pitching Birmingham!

 

 

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