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Please plan to come to Voices for Freedom – the Hyers Sisters’ Legacy, at the Sacramento Film Festival April 25 at 7 pm on the Delta King, Sacramento. This documentary is now on PBS nationally and the festival version has won awards. See the trailer and DVD at www.TheHyersSisters.com
The Hyers’ story is colorful and important because it reveals hidden history and sheds light upon many of the social attitudes that persist today. Anna and Emma Hyers were operatic prodigies 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 touring 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a period of widespread oppression for workers and terror for African Americans, and in 1877, when federal troops were withdrawn from the South, lynching and night riding increased as black-face minstrel shows mocked black people across the Land.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 fostered social restrictions, such as “separate but equal.”
Despite the perilous times, The Hyers Sisters, as products of the Sacramento/San Francisco’s civil-rights community, stood up for the dignity of their people -- They left concert opera and instead used their popularity to bring black leading players before their concert audiences 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 became the first American musicals. They integrated casting in American Music Theater for the first time and were the first 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 a recent appearance on Good Day Sacramento when the film was first broadcast:
Here are the detailed urls for my films and career. Somehow I have two CFF sites.
=The new Hyers film, which is in the Sacramento It'l Film Festival is detailed here: http://www.californiafilm.net/profile/SusheelBibbs
=Below is the link to my second CFF site, which has a more a detailed bio and more videos: …Continue
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, and in Sacramento Voices for Freedom will broadcast Nov. 15 at 7, Nov 17…Continue