Susheel Bibbs site
  • Female
  • Sacramento, CA
  • United States
  • I'm an SFF Filmmaker

Susheel Bibbs site's Friends

  • Kristen DiAngelo
  • Jacqueline Mathers
  • Kaira
  • Mark Hoffman
  • Martin Anaya
  • California Film Foundation

Gifts Received


Susheel Bibbs site has not received any gifts yet

Give a Gift


Welcome, Susheel Bibbs!

Profile Information

My current Project Title:
VOICES FOR FREEDOM -The Hyers Sisters' Legacy
I describe myself as a
I'm an SFF Filmmaker
My areas of expertise include:
About me - current project:
Full Areas of Expertise: Producer-Director-Writer-Performer


About VOICES FOR FREEDOM - The Hyers Sisters' Legacy
www.The Hyers

Logline: In a time when night riders and lynching terrorized black people and black- face minstrels ridiculed them across the land, Anna & Emma Hyers – the 1st African- American women to succeed in touring, concert opera – left opera to become Voices for Freedom. (now on DVD and, in short form, on PBS)

Synopsis: This colorful performance documentary features enactment, acclaimed live performances, and informed commentary as it chronicles the lives, times, and legacy of The Hyers Sisters -- American's first, successful African-American touring-opera divas. A hip-hop poet, narration, and montages enrich the film and illumine their importance then and now. Using their nationwide appeal, the Sisters ultimately created the first American musical and were first to integrate casting in American Music Theater. You deserve to know them. Superstar of opera and stage, Denyce Graves, hosts.

About Susheel Bibbs (Cheryl Susheel Bibbs)
Independent filmmaker/singer/actress Susheel Bibbs has served the arts and the humanities for over 26 years. An acclaimed classical singer, national Emmy winner, and once the youngest Executive Producer in the PBS system for a major international series, Bibbs has, since 2007, secured 13 international, independent-film awards (including three for excellence in directing) and two international Telly Awards. Both of her award-winning documentaries – Meet Mary Pleasant and Voices for Freedom - The Hyers Sisters’ Legacy -- are now on PBS nationally, on DVD, and touring nationwide.
Laurels, awards and other accomplishments:

ARTS: Opera and Vocal Performance
=Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Vocal Performance/Opera
=Apprenticeships at the Santa Fe Opera; diplomas at the Mozarteum in Austria
=26 years as a touring opera and concert singer and actress
Touring Artist (singer-actress)

= Advanced degree in Communications, Breyer State University
= Certifications, State of CA, in Voice and Philosophy
=1978 Diploma in Vedic Philosophy & Culture, Sandeepany,Bombay
=1975 CPB Training Grant(Executive training)

RECENT INDY FILM AWARDS:Documentary Film since 2007:

=VOICES FOR FREEDOM: (2017-18, documentary short) Grand Festival Award: Berkeley Int'l Video & Film Festival, Documentary Short Award: Houston Worldfest, Gold Kahuna Award for Excellence in Filmmaking: Honolulu International Film Festival, Nov. 2017 Documentary Award Hollywood Int'l Documentary Festival/Awards, Best Film (Cine Soul) Sacramento Int'l Film Festival, Bronze Telly Award.

=MEET MARY PLEASANT Mother of Civil Rights in California (FEATURE/PBS: 2008, Re-issued: 2018:in HD): 2010 --
Gold Kahuna Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Honolulu International Film Festival, Official Screening at Cannes Film Festival, Best Director of a Documentary 09 in New York and Best Historical Documentary Feature (08) in Hollywood: NY Int'l Independent Film Festival, Finalist in the Hollywood Black Film Festival,

=MEET MARY PLEASANT SHORT: 2007 Peace-reel Medallion - Best Documentary Short: Berkeley Int'l Video and Film Festival

=THE LEGACY OF MARY ELLEN PLEASANT (KVIE/PBS): Silver Telly* Award: Best short documentary. (Silver was the top award in 2008)

=AN UNSUNG MUSE - Classical Song of Black Composers SHORT (1991, 2007 reissue: 2001 on DVD) 2016 Willis Patterson Award for film research

EARLY AWARDS - 1975-80 WGBH Television & Radio
=National EMMY., Executive Producer of ZOOM:
=CPB Management Training Grant,
=2 CPB Best Program Awards, Action for Children's Television Award (The Spider's Web): Radio Producer/Music Program Dir. of The Spider's Web (WGBH/NPR) & Others

-Several NPR. KVIE-TV Film, and Discovery Channel Profiles about Mary Pleasant
-2018 - KVIE-PBS Arts Showcase Profile
-2017 - Good Day Sacramento Hyers film profile

=2018 Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievement Award
=2001 CA Humanities/California History Alive touring artist and Grant recipient - Meet Mary Pleasant
=1990-2003: Featured artist: California Touring Artist Roster
=2001-pres: Grant recipient & performer: The Missouri Arts Council and The National Park Service Network to Freedom Program (Meet Mary Pleasant, O Freedom, Mother of civil Rights exhibit)
1999:2001 Commendations: St. Louis City Museum, Los Angeles African American Museum. Highest Commendation: Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco

AREAS OF WORK (1970-Present)
=touring classical singer-actress
=Independent Filmmaker
=Founder/Exec.Director,The Living Heritage Foundation (Sacramento)
=Director-Performer-writer, M.E.P. Productions/Publications (books,documentary scripts)
=Producer & Director of Music Program Development, WGBH Radio
=Producer-Executive Producer, WGBH-TV
=Lecturer, UC, Berkeley Interdisciplinary Studies: (retired)
My home region is:
Capital Region

About VOICES FOR FREEDOM - The Hyers Sisters' Legacy

Please plan to come to the next screening of  Voices for Freedom – the Hyers Sisters’ Legacy, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, June 23, 2 pm. Free to the public.  

 This documentary is now on PBS nationally and the festival version has won 6 international awards. See  detail here and at

   The Hip-hop poet who appears periodically in the film to comment on this period story for our day says, "What do you bring to the table of life? Do you just wait some time?  Life passes by."  The Hyers made a way in perilous times with their talents where there had been no way.  They refused to wait and used love, laughter and talent to create works that changed minds and hearts in their mainstream audiences.  Their inspiring story is colorful and important because it reveals hidden history and sheds light upon many of the social attitudes that persist today.

   Who?  Anna and Emma Hyers were operatic prodigies, products of the 1860's civil-rights communities of Sacramento and San Francisco.  They who used their art to fight against the profiling and ridicule of their people from 1876-1894. The first African-American women to tour successfully across the Land in concert opera, they  are also credited with commissioning and popularizing the first American musicals.  

   The year 1876 ushered in a period of widespread oppression for workers and terror for African Americans, and in 1877, when federal troops were withdrawn from the South, lynching and night riding increased as black-face minstrel shows mocked black people across the Land.  The attitudes that they produced later fueled social restrictions, such as  “separate but equal.” 

   Despite the perilous times, The Hyers Sisters, as products of their  civil-rights communities, stood up for the dignity of their people -- They left concert opera and used their popularity to bring black leading players and integrated casts to American Music Theater  for the first time; they produced characters who were like real people rather than caricatures within sympathetic and entertaining musical stories. These "stories" changed minds and hearts and are now known as the first American musicals. And, they were the first black women to tour under top management.  

   The musical troupes that followed copied many of the Hyers' innovations, so US Music Theater and human rights owe them a debt of thanks.

VOICES FOR FREEDOM tells this story for the first time.

Here's an appearance on Good Day Sacramento about the film when it was first broadcast:

Susheel Bibbs site's Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Susheel Bibbs site's Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Susheel Bibbs site's Blog

Voices for Freedom screens on PBS and in the Bay Area 6/23/18

Posted on October 8, 2018 at 12:46pm 0 Comments

Dear Friends. 

Here is the correct url for my films. Please use this one.  Somehow I have two sites:

A lot is happening.

=Both films --Voices for Freedom and MEET MARY PLEASANT are on PBS nationally now, and next, you can hear me talk about Mary Ellen Pleasant and my work with her in film on stage

Oct. 26 at 4pm on NPR - The California Report. Tune into…


Comment Wall

You need to be a member of California Film Foundation to add comments!

Join California Film Foundation

  • No comments yet!


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Special CFF Programs

CFF Thanks Our Partners

© 2018   Created by California Film Foundation.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service