Audiences Wowed by AN AMAZING STORY in City of Hermann, Washington County and the Center for Divine Love in South City CONT...
excited to see that St. Louisans came to Hermann to see the show and get a tour of the Deutchheim! The Q/A was vibrant and two remarkable things happened. First, Mr. Hamm, a history teacher commented that for 30 years he has tried to tell this story to his students. He commended Cecilia for writing a well-researched play that got the attention of everyone!
The second thing that happened- an audience member told Cecilia that on her family's property there was a shack that had slave shackles in it. This story has led Cecilia in the direction of learning more about Hermann and she is currently doing additional research on the area. Recently she learned that there may have been only one slave in Hermann during the entire Civil War!
Cindy Browne shared a mid-1800 newspaper article where there was to be a "Colored picnic of one thousand in Hermann." The organizers insisted that the newspaper let the German residents of Hermann know that "all were invited to come to this picnic without regard to color, race, religion or social standing." It is noteworthy that the African Americans of that time, newly emancipated went out of their way to reach out to the German community!
The City of Hermann even commissioned a videographer to take footage of targeted segments of the play that referenced Hermann for possible public relations value!
The Center for Divine Love on Wyoming in STL was founded by Germans in the mid-1800's and is now led by Nia Tumpe, an African American female Pastor who embraces that cultural history. The capacity crowd at the Center was quite diverse with visitors from Germany, many African Americans and White Americans. One woman of 85 years who is an activist for immigrants tearfully shared her joy in knowing this story as a German. The audience frequently applauded and gave us a standing ovation. Tough questions were asked during Q/A and it was notable that African Americans had no idea of the support given by Germans in abolishing slavery and fighting for their civil rights.
Franklin County Missouri Bicentennial and Neighbors United Undoing Racism joined forces to sponsor the play at Washington High School in Washington County. The collaboration of these two organizations resulted in an engaged audience and rich Q/A. It was great to see representatives of Franklin County working hand in hand with an activist organization fighting racism. This was most commendable and spoke highly of all involved.