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1619: The Journey of a people, The Production

A Road Scholar Program by Ted Williams III

newspaper articles about 20 enslaved Africans who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia on August 20, 1619
Still from 1619: The Journey of A People trailer (https://youtu.be/6W9ZidYcyFo)

On August 20, 1619, 20 enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. The 400-year journey that followed would change a nation and the world. 1619: The Journey of a People is a dynamic theatrical and lecture experience featuring Playwright, Professor, and Performer Ted Williams III.

Taken from the 2-hour musical production, 1619: The Journey of a People, this one-man show packs generations of history into an approximately 1-hour stage production. From the beginning of American slavery to the Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Era, and the modern movements for justice, Williams uses history to explain America’s current reality.

Performance Pieces:

  • Captured: The Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Slave for life: Early Court Cases
  • Roots: Alex Haley
  • I Thought We Were Free: The Reconstruction Era
  • Fredrick Douglass 4th of July speech: US Patriotism
  • Booker T. or WEB: Strategies for Progress
  • Run to the North: The Great Migration
  • Tired of Wearing 2 Faces: Racial Identity and Middle Class Assimilation
  • I’m Not Black: The One Drop Rule and Racial Classification
  • After the Dream: Dr. King’s Legacy and 2020 America
  • Steal Away: Faith and Social Justice

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Fairouz Abu Ghazaleh at fairouz.abughazaleh@ilhumanities.org.

Learn more about Ted Williams III, this program, and how to book it.

More on 1619: The Journey of a People:

1619: The Journey of a People commemorates the struggles, recognizes the heroes, and critically analyzes the American journey towards freedom and equality. Since the world premiere in August of 2019, the production has been performed over a dozen times throughout Chicago and at various locations including Elmhurst College, Wheaton College, and Hampton University. It has been featured in the Chicago Defender, Daily Herald, WCIU’s The Jam, V103’s Chicago Speaks with Darryl Dennard, WVON’s Real Talk Real People, and on Fox32 Chicago. 1619: The Journey of a People, which was funded by the Illinois Arts Council and nominated for the 2020 August Wilson Award for Best Writing of Musical by the Black Theater Alliance Awards.