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Project shines light on stories of Black ancestors and enslavement in America


The Maafa Commemoration Project Lehigh Valley performs at Resurrected Life Community Church in Allentown Oct. 1 and 2.

The performance is co-produced by Sharon A. Brown, the Rev. Dr. Gregory Edwards, and Touchstone Theatre’s Festival UnBound.

Maafa (pronounced Mah-AH-fah) is a Kiswahili word that refers to the catastrophic events experienced by millions of African people during the middle passage journey from Africa bound for enslavement in the Americas. This local event is part of a national movement, started in 1995 by St. Paul Community Baptist Church (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and led by the vision of the Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, to bring issues of racism and slavery into the light.

The premiere of the Maafa Commemoration Project Lehigh Valley seeks to raise up and honor stories of Black African Ancestors, the known and unknown, and recognize strength of spirit, richness of heritage, and the world in which freedom is still out of reach for so many.

This local iteration of the production is written by Nehprii Amenii and directed by Kymbali Craig. The project is performed by a combination of professional, student, and community performers. The production team includes local artists and regional guest artists.

Performances are at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Tickets to the live performances and the livestream are available at or 610-867-1689; for group sales, contact