Black Lavender Experience 2020

The Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre invites you to participate in a special Black Lavender Experience. From Friday, April 10th through Thursday, April 16th, the event dives into the archive to present performances, keynotes, and conversations for reflection today. Since 2009, Black Lavender projects have investigated and presented the works of premier artists, and new works written and performed by Brown University students and Tougaloo College (Jackson, Mississippi) students.

Join us online from wherever you are to experience a selection of works that engage Blackness, queerness and their intersections through good theatre and good conversation. Videos will be posted below as they go live, or visit us on Facebook for the latest.

The Black Lavender Experience is produced and presented by The Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre, with support from the Brown Arts Initiative.



Schedule of Events

Friday, April 10th, 8PM: Gay Black Southern Men Speak: The Making of Sweet Tea

Click here to view.

A Conversation with E. Patrick Johnson, Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies, Northwestern University and Lisa Biggs, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Brown University 

Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar/artist, Johnson performs nationally and internationally and has published widely in the areas of race, gender, sexuality and performance. He is the author of several books, including Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History, Black. Queer. Southern. Women.—An Oral History, and Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women


Monday, April 13th, 7PM: The Evolution of Black Lavender (2012)

BLX MondayBLX Monday

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Keynote Address by Elmo Terry-Morgan '74, Associate Professor, Africana Studies and Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Artistic Director, Rites and Reason Theatre


Tuesday, April 14th, 7PM: Black Queer Is/Ain't: A Black Lavender Class Presentation (2019)

BLX TuesdayBLX Tuesday

Click here to view.

Directed by Connie Crawford, Adjunct Lecturer, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University
Folkthought led by Sharon Bridgforth, BLX National Correspondent


Wednesday, April 15th, 7PM: Journey to Joy: A Dramatic Presentation, Tougaloo College Students (2019)

BLX WednesdayBLX Wednesday

Click here to view.

Directed by Renita Martin, Rites and Reason Teaching Artist; Produced by Kimberly Morgan-Myles, MFA, Assistant Professor of English/Drama, Tougaloo College

Featuring: Timmy Rontavious Bridgeman, DaQuavion Burns, Latrice Renea Ramsey, and Jordon Simmons


Thursday, April 16th, 7PM: Every 'Back in the Day' Has a Queer 'Right Now’ A Black Lavender Class Presentation (2020)

BLX ThursdayBLX Thursday

Click here to view.

Featuring work by Afia Akosah-Bempah, Ania Briscoe, Elon Collins, Zoe Donovan, Gregory Hill, Ray Jackson, Connor Jenkins, Ethan Jobson, Jamil Johnson, Christopher Moore, Alexis Roman, Samantha Scott, Kaycie Sweeney-Mulhern, and Morgan Varnado