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Close Out Black History Month With ‘Spittin’ Truth To Power’

The Playhouse’s free Digital WOW show invites people to take the sermon challenge

Shammy Dee and Alyce Smith Cooper team up for the La Jolla Playhouse's free, ...

Credit: La Jolla Playhouse

Above: Shammy Dee and Alyce Smith Cooper team up for the La Jolla Playhouse's free, three-part Digital WOW show, "Spittin' Truth to Power While Light Leaping for the People."

La Jolla Playhouse continues to release new Digital WOW, or Without Walls, shows online since live performances are still not allowed. You can fittingly close out Black History Month with an intergenerational poetry piece called "Spittin’ Truth To Power While Light Leaping For the People."

Reported by Beth Accomando

"Spittin’ Truth To Power" uses images, music and spoken word in the West African tradition of griot in which traveling poets employed oral storytelling and song to pass down history from one generation to the next. For this free, three-part series from La Jolla Playhouse’s Digital WOW the younger generation is represented by Los Angeles deejay and musician Shammy Dee while the older generation is represented by octogenarian poet Alyce Smith Cooper.

Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

The three short videos are titled "Sermon," "Communion" and "Fellowship." The first rages against injustice through song and spoken word as images of police brutality, racial violence and protest play out in a montage. "Sermon" showcases Smith Cooper while "Communion" highlights Shammy Dee and takes a quieter, more spiritual tone. And then "Fellowship" brings the two together for a hopeful final video.

The Playhouse described the series as: "This three-part spoken verse will encompass the juxtaposition of past/present, yin/yang, male/female with the dream of transformations hoped for and imagined. It is both a personal moment and a collective piece — a springing forward into a leap of light."

The Playhouse also invites you to take the sermon challenge and create your own version of the “Sermon” video using dance, spoken word, or whatever you’d like to spit your own truth to power.


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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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