On Saturday, June 17, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO; 6659 14th Street, in Oakland) will present the first public screening of Voices for Freedom: The Hyers Sisters' Legacy, a short documentary film by Susheel Bibbs. The 30-minute film will screen at 3:00 p.m., followed by a discussion. Admission is free.
The film examines the dark period immediately following the Civil War – the perilous 1870s and ’80s, when night riders and lynch mobs terrorized black people. The film focuses on the Hyers Sisters, nationally popular opera prodigies who stood up to oppose the ridicule of their people. Their weapons were musicals that revealed the depth and dignity of black people. These works were the first American musicals and the first to use integrated casting in American theater.
Seven years in the making, Susheel Bibbs’ documentary tells the Hyers’ story in word and song.