In 1968, Clayborn Temple was home to the Memphis Sanitation Workers during their strike for economic justice. Within its sanctuary they organized their efforts, and from its steps they marched daily into the streets of Memphis. As they went, they carried the iconic “I AM A MAN” signs that bore witness to the very meaning of the movement: the pursuit of human dignity.
Today, fifty years later, Clayborn Temple is developing “Union,” a musical play that inspires audiences with the powerful story of the Sanitation Workers and continues their journey toward social justice.
Set to debut in 2019, this production will tour cities across the United States and invite audiences into active conversations about the ongoing need for equity, the enduring power of community, and the future possibilities of democracy.
On April 4th, 2018, the eyes of the world turned to Memphis as thousands gathered to remember, embrace, and advance the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
As part of this commemoration, Clayborn Temple presents three preview performances of “Union: A Musical” and a community conversation that that brings together community members, activists, artists, influencers, and civic leaders to discuss the ongoing work of democracy in our city and in our nation.
Friday, April 6th, 2018
On opening night, we feature narration of local pastor. Friday night will be a VIP night and will be a fundraiser for “Union”.
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
On Saturday night, we feature narration of actress, Jurnee Smollett and performance by singer/songwriter Josiah Bell.
Sunday, April 8th, 2018
On Sunday afternoon, we will turn our attention toward the young people of Memphis.The show will feature narration of Erica Perry and Patrick Ghant and a youth led post-show conversation featuring young people (middle school – college) from communities and organizations all over Memphis. (we are working on a special appearance by members of The Invaders). Before the show we will be conducting a community organization workshop for members of the community that want to be more involved in the work for racial and economic justice.
For event information and ticket purchase, visit Clayborn Temple’s website here.
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