What perfect timing for Center Stage to present Kemp Powers’ outstanding play One Night in Miami! The fictional story of four African-American icons who were also friends—Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke—who gathered in a Miami hotel on February 25, 1964, the night of Clay’s upset win over heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston that took place during the height of the civil rights struggle.
We are approaching Black History Month; we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday; and we’re about to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma as well as the passage of the Civil Rights Act. But where the past is so often prologue, the country is still living under the shadow of racial tensions ignited by the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner—developments not lost on Director Kwame Kwei-Armah who superbly helms Powers’ compelling work.
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