• 57°

Extravaganza!

Annual pageant makes its return

By Alan Riquelmy / Selma Times – Journal

It’s still not too late to get your tickets for this year’s Extravaganza.

Extravaganza, a yearly celebration of Black Belt Arts and Culture, will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. It will be at 12 Stone, a small theater located on Water Avenue.

Rose Hill, a volunteer for BBACC, said that this year is the 30th anniversary of Black Belt Arts and Culture.

Hill said that the celebration includes a dinner that will include African cuisine. The dishes served will include yellow rice and vegetable dishes.

Hill said that the goal of BBACC is to give children training to help them survive after high school and lead them to the next level.

Sam Walker, a member of the board of directors for BBACC, said that following the dinner will be the performance of an original play. Each year Extravaganza showcases a different play, he said, and both the dinner and play have become traditions.

Walker added that in past years Faya Ora Rose Toure has most often written the yearly work. This year, however, the play was written by members of BBACC.

Walker added that the play will last 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission.

The play, Up Above My Head, is the story of Chaka Redding, a young man dealing with a host of problems surrounding his family, peers and community. The only source of happiness he has left is his music. When his grandmother accidentally lowers the sound of his stereo it sends Redding into a coma.

As Redding lays in the intensive care unit he is visited by the spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and others who guide his understanding of both hip-hop music and his heritage.

As the play reaches its climax, both Redding and his grandmother reach a deeper appreciation for both the music and struggles of their respective generations.

Hill said that evangelist Lillie Fields will be making an appearance during the play to speak about the recent death of her son, Camilo Fields.

Also, Hill said, the play will be performed at schools and universities in the coming weeks. One performance has already been scheduled at Clark University in Atlanta.

Tickets for Extravaganza are $10 for adults, $5 for students. There is no charge for children under 6.

Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Anyone interested in group rates should contact Cassandra Smith at 872-2470.