Everlasting, steadfast beacon, she moves in phases of renewal.
We stand in her sanctuary.
We tell stories of moments that change the human complexion, moments that are unanticipated but challenge us to stand up and be counted.
This is the story about a moment.
This is the story of Rosa Parks.
In The Moon Room is a series of dramatic and lyrical presentations inspired by the Ghanaian tradition of women gathering under the full moon to tell stories, sing, and drum in an effort of healing and renewal. It was part of a premise conceived for a show I created for the Fringe in 2018. It is an opportunity to explore lives of sheroes, women who have changed our world, some of whom aren’t known… talk about cancel culture, it is an opportunity to explore music of their time and culture as well as lyrics and poetry to evoke moments of great significance or ground swells of important thought in our history, our evolution, albeit some are forgotten.
The music of Rosa Parks in the Moon Room explores the evolution of Black American influences of music from church music, to the spiritual, to the blues, to jazz. In telling the story of that fateful moment when Rosa Parks was led out the door of the Birmingham bus, the music reaches back to Yoruba Tribal music and of the god “Elegua.”
Eleguá, is the Orisha and “owner” of roads and paths. Eleguá is often depicted holding a set of keys. A figure of Eleguá may be placed in the house behind the entrance door for protection.
When Rosa Parks stood at a door of the Birmingham bus, she was protected by one thing–her conviction in doing the right thing. She may have refused to give up her seat in the “white section” of that bus; she may have been “escorted” by police out the door, but when she crossed the threshold, she opened the door to the Civil Rights Movement.
Music of the Orishas (Yoruba gods who represent the forces of nature), spirituals, jazz ballads, drumming motivate this reflection on a woman who changed our world for the better through a brave act.