This coming February 21, Valley Central High School's junior class will be attending "Rhapsody in Black," a one-man show written and performed by LeLand Gantt, at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie. According to the Bardavon, the show "explores LeLand ’s personal journey to understanding and eventually transcending racism in America. We follow his spellbinding life story—from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania to teenage experiments with crime and drugs to scholastic achievement and an acting career that land adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African-American in the room. How he manages to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked The Other is recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail, guaranteed to leave lasting impressions."
Students will have the opportunity to connect Mr. Gantt's experiences to their studies in U.S. History class and to literary works like Lorraine Hansbury's "A Raisin in the Sun." In addition, his inspiring call for respectful dialogue will serve as an asset to the overall climate of our school and surrounding community.
Valley Central would like to thank the Bardavon, the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts for allowing us to provide this opportunity at no cost to students.
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