Out & About

New Tubman exhibit may bring back painful memories but promises to educate

The Tubman Museum, pictured in May 2016.
The Tubman Museum, pictured in May 2016. bcabell@macon.com

It was nip and tuck, but thankfully the Tubman Museum’s latest exhibit arrived in town ahead of Tropical Storm Irma.

“Untold Stories: Macon’s African American History” opened Sunday, with the Historic Macon Foundation serving as presenting sponsor. This is a “must-see” exhibition.

For those who are age 70 or older, the artifacts bring back memories, many of them painful or worse. For younger folks, the exhibit is an education.

Most of the college students I teach are 18-20 years old, and I am constantly staggered by the amount of history with which these young people are unfamiliar. And yet this history is essential to understanding life in our community, not just yesterday but today.

The Tubman exhibit does particularly well in its treatment of black military service and school desegregation. Although the exhibit will be in place through the end of 2017, I hope it is the prelude to more exhibitions of this sort. They are sorely needed. The period when the myriad private educational institutions opened especially warrants exploring for its impact on today.

As Telegraph Editorial Page Editor Charles Richardson aptly observed in his column on the very day that “Untold Stories” opened, “We think if we cover it up, move it or ignore it, the shame of the time will disappear. It won’t. The shame just lives on in our hearts. The very act of hiding and ignoring our history does us a disservice. Facing it, putting it out in the open, would publicly proclaim … it as our history, some good, some bad.”

Those are powerful words. Perhaps the Tubman can redeem us.

At the Douglass

One of the greatest figures in choral music will be the subject of a documentary at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Douglass Theatre. “Robert Shaw — Man of Many Voices” will be preceded by the Wesleyannes performing some of Shaw’s arrangements and Wesleyan College’s chair of music, Nadine Cheek, recounting her experiences with Shaw. The film itself runs 71 minutes.

Also at the Douglass, the British National Theatre is currently producing “Yerma” by Spanish playwright Garcia Lorca in a modernized version set in London. The HD broadcast of this story of a woman’s efforts to conceive is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sept. 24.

More at Theatre Macon

September is really a non-stop month at Theatre Macon. The group’s production of “Rumors” closes this weekend, and if you’re a fan of Neil Simon, you won’t want to miss this comedy. Coming up next, the never-fail Youth Actors Company will be presenting Disney’s “The Lion King” Sept. 22-Oct. 1.

In the midst of that run, some of Theatre Macon’s talents who have gone on to careers in New York and elsewhere will, with spouses, perform in a fundraiser for the “Setting the Stage for Theatre Macon’s Future” endowment campaign featuring Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson.

It seems like just yesterday that Preston and Emerson were married by Jim Crisp, and it seems like just a few days before that when John Preston and Charles Pecor were in “Equus” at the now-vanished Macon A.C.T.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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