Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Question America: The Fannie Lou Hamer Legacy Onstage at Washington College, January 31

Chestertown, MD, January 18, 2006 — Washington College welcomes award-winning writer and performer E. P. McKnight portraying the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer in the one-woman play, I Question America, on stage in the College's Tawes Theatre, Tuesday, January 31, 2006, at 7 p.m. This Martin Luther King Celebration event is free and open to the public.

Hamer (1917-1977), field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was an outspoken advocate for civil rights for African Americans. For more than half of Hamer's life, she was a rural agricultural worker who saw no end to the cycle of poverty and humiliation that was the plight of many southern African Americans.

I Question America begins with Hamer as a young girl living and working with her parents and siblings as sharecroppers. It depicts her years of grueling subsistence labor and her growing awareness of the inequality between the blacks and whites in America. As she becomes more aware of this inequality, she is provoked to seek a better way. Her determination takes her around the country, protesting and speaking against racism and distinguishing herself as a successful grassroots organizer from her rural Mississippi town to the Halls of Congress. Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Hamer achieves her life's calling to change America through her work during the Civil Rights Movement to promote voting rights and farm worker's rights and to break the hold of white racism on the Southern Democratic Party.

E. P. McKnight is a graduate of Fordham University, where she received her master's degree in educational psychology. As an educational psychologist, she founded the Nikao Imani, Inc., a marketing and consulting firm for careers in the corporate industry and entertainment industry. She is a poet, actress, writer, and a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Actor's Equity, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The performance of I Question America is presented by Washington College's Office of Diversity Affairs.

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