2009 Rosa Parks: I'm Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off

A month after the historic inauguration of our first African-American president, we celebrated again with the performance of “I’m Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off.” This theatrical program explored a pivotal time in the African-American struggle for civil equality in the United States. Presented by award-winning and internationally known storyteller, actor and artist Awele Makeba, “I’m Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off” featured historic acts of defiance by Rosa Parks and other women and teenagers against Jim Crow laws during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The program was presented by Colorado Humanities as part of our annual American Spirit Series on Thursday, February 19 at 7:00pm at the New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Boulevard in Denver. The performance toured multiple venues throughout the Denver Metro and Pikes Peak regions that week.

Our 8th Annual American Spirit Series presented Awele Makeba in an interactive theater performance based on oral histories and primary source documents that explore the history of Jim Crow laws and the South. Awele's talking time line presented the Montgomery Bus Boycott's significance in advancing democracy in the United States. Different historical players' voices and stories weave together a narrative as Awele interacted with the audience to deconstruct this complex time in America.

Awele Makeba is an award-winning and internationally known actor, emerging playwright, storyteller, recording artist, and educator. She researches, writes, and performs hidden African American history while inviting audiences to wrestle with complex and emotionally laden issues that teach us about our common humanity, potential, and our purpose for being in the world. Ms. Makeba has mesmerized audiences from the United States, Russia, Australia, Taiwan, France, and Canada. Her performances have been featured at national conferences such as The Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, The National Association of Multicultural Educators, and The Oral History Association.

This event was made possible through the generous support of Wells Fargo, 9 News, Gay & Lesbian Fund of Colorado, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, T.Rowe Price and the Community College of Aurora.