This week marks Juneteenth, which marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. But so many of us have been spoon-fed a diet of whitewashed and watered-down history, that we just don’t understand the significance of historic events like Juneteenth or The Tulsa Massacre, nor do we have too much prior knowledge of the extent of the resistance movement. That is why we need historians and master storytellers like Howard Craft and Mike Wiley.
Hear what Craft and Wiley have to say about the significance of bringing their play The Fire of Freedom to the stage this Juneteenth, and the importance of understanding our history in order to move forward.
The Fire of Freedom opens at Theatre Raleigh on June 18th. For ticket information visit: https://theatreraleigh.com/.
About the Guests
Mike Wiley – Acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley has spent the last decade fulfilling his mission to bring educational theatre to young audiences and communities across the country. Through his performances, Wiley has introduced countless students and communities to the legacies of Emmett Till, Henry “Box” Brown, and more. His recent works include a one-man play based on Tim Tyson’s memoir ‘Blood Done Sign My Name’ and ‘The Parchman Hour,’ an ensemble production celebrating the bravery and determination of the Freedom Riders who risked their lives to desegregate Southern interstate bus travel in 1961. Wiley has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the 2010 and 2014 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to his numerous school and community performances, he has also appeared on Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and National Geographic Channel and has been featured in Our State magazine, PBS’ ‘North Carolina Now,’ and WUNC’s ‘The State of Things.’ For more information visit: http://mikewileyproductions.com/.
Howard L. Craft is the author of two books of poems: Across The Blue Chasm (Big Drum Press 2000) and Raising the Sky (Jacar Press 2016). His poetry also appears in Home is Where: An Anthology of African-American Poets from the Carolinas, edited by Kwame Dawes. His essays have appeared in The Paris Review and have been included in The Routledge Companion to African American Theatre (Routledge Press 2019). He is the author of several plays including, FREIGHT: THE FIVE INCARNATIONS OF ABLE GREEN, a New York Times Critic Pick for March 2015; CALYPSO AND THE MIDNIGHT MARAUDERS, ORANGE LIGHT, and THE JADE CITY CHRONICLES VOLUME I: THE SUPER SPECTACULAR BADASS HERALD M. F. JONES. He is the creator of the first African-American superhero radio serial: The Jade City Pharaoh.
For a complete schedule of Triangle theater events, visit our Calendar Page.