February 5th, 2007 12:49 EST
Actress Moves Students With Monologues
With five sets of tears and tributes, actress Maxine Maxwell depicted the struggle of the black woman spanning the past 150 years.
The dramatic monologues, Echoes of the Past, " commenced Black History Month at Rider University, on February 1st. The Student Entertainment Council and the Black Student Union organized the event.
Maxwell embarked on her journey through time with Henrietta King, an aged slave, recounting the story of what it could have been like to be a slave."
Henrietta`s character took the audience into her childhood, during a time when she suffered permanent injuries for eating a peppermint stick that belonged to the Mistress.
The monologues resumed with: Sojourner Truth, an antislavery activist; Ida B. Wells, a journalist and crusader against black oppression; Elizabeth Eckford, a teenager who integrated Central High in Little Rock; and Winnie Mandela, a South African civil rights leader.
Disctinct background narratives and costume pieces were produced for each character.
Maxwell concluded with the verses from a poem by Alice Walker, referring to women in black history: "How they knew what we must know without ever knowing a page of it themselves."
After the program ended, students shared their experiences. Freshman Stephanie Detrempe said, I was able to put myself in their positions. It really touched me."
Jamiyl Mosley thought Maxwell was very talented "and found the presentation an enjoyable experience."
Junior Vehenna Duru said, It was phenomenal. Her performance was amazing, the way she connected to the audience and the characters.
These powerful women were able to impact the current state of women in America, various countries in Africa, and the world at large, " Duru said.
When SEC Multicultural Chair Marie Baker went to see Maxwell perform at another event, Maxwell was the only person all weekend who got a full house standing ovation. "
When we look at people who are very courageous in history we think that there is something special about them, that they were able to make choices to have the world be different, " Maxwell offered. We can make those kinds of choices, too."
Note: This article was originally contributed by a writer who is no longer affiliated with theSOP.