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AYANNA GREGORY IN DAUGHTER OF THE STRUGGLE

Ayanna Gregory shares a tour de force set of reflections about Dick Gregory, one of our most treasured living socially conscious legends through the eyes of a daughter.  Dick Gregory is a home grown griot unafraid to speak truth to power even all those years ago when such activities were considered un-American and dangerous.  Ayanna's powerful performance captures the moments with intensity and grace.  Through testimonials,  music, and mesmerizing movements, she brings the audience along on the precious journey, recounting what it was like to live in a household of ten children, learning from her siblings, trying to keep up and be a “big girl” while accompanying her family on marches and sit-ins.  It’s easy to forget that the early activists put their bodies and lives on the line, but once you hear the story from a frightened child’s perspective, her account of death threats, and descriptions of the menacing crowds eager to bash heads, even little ones, it really hits home.  The struggle was real, and this daughter of the struggle shows how close we came to losing them all.  At the same time, she is a beacon of light, letting us know, just as Dick Gregory always has, that there is hope in the struggle, joy, laughter, and yes, lots of love.  In this fiftieth year celebration of the March on Washington, this same month, the cosmic forces are shining brightly on anyone trying to make things right.  I hope that others will take the opportunity to enjoy this perfect alignment of social consciousness and entertainment. That we still have Dick Gregory and his wife Lillian with us is truly a blessing to savor.  Through Ayanna’s performance, we can share the legacy by bearing witness, holding each other’s hands and celebrating their amazing journey together– Now! Thank you to MetroStage for sharing Ayanna and the story of her remarkable family with your audience.

Debbie Minter Jackson

Playwright, Theater Reviewer

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MetroStage is funded in part by the Virginia Commision for the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

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