“Behold: Here Cometh the Dreamer” is now in its fifth year and has become an annual tradition. It’s also a great forum for the enjoyment and exploration of African-American poetry.
Conceived as a tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the event will be held at the Whitaker Black Box Theater on Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Ressie Fuller and Corliss Reese will serve as hosts for the evening, which is sponsored by local attorney Francys Johnson.
Featured speaker for the evening will be Kimberly Foxx, who teaches English and literature at Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Georgia. Recently honored as one of WTOC television’s Top Teachers, Foxx earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education and an education specialist degree in educational leadership from Columbus State University.
Behold director Mical Whitaker says he first heard about Foxx during a WTOC broadcast.
“That was really one of those wonderful happenstances,” Whitaker said, saying he wanted to get “Someone fresh. Somebody we haven’t seen before… somebody that maybe this county hasn’t heard about, but who is raising hell in this other county.”
Whitaker says he wants the event to be special, as well as the speaker, so that it will draw the audience out.
“As a theater director, I am aware that people make a choice to come out of their homes to come to a play or to an artistic event,” he said, adding that with all of the choices that are available, he wanted to be sure that Behold was something that audiences would feel they should not miss.
As he watched the broadcast about Foxx, he was engaged by their choice, he said.
“She said some magic words for me, especially about her belief that youngsters, or everybody, needs to be aware of the power of the written word. That was the phrase that caught me. She wanted to give her students, make sure they understood that. So therefore, she encourages them to write,” he said. “So that just struck a chord, and I said I want this person. She’s exactly what we’re looking for.”
Foxx will present selections from the late Toni Morrison, Pulitzer prize winner and Nobel Prize laureate, as well as Dr. King and Maya Angelou.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Whitaker said.
Other participants include Charlise Bonds, McKenzie Harper, Meca Williams-Johnson, Thurgood Johnson, Korrina King, Jayla Lawton, Adrianne McCollar, Madison McCollar and Frankie M. Smith II. Technical direction for the event will be provided by Robert Faller.
Selected readings for the event will include the legendary voices of Gwendolyn Brooks, Ruby Dee and Mari Evans, in addition to Dr. King, Angelou and Morrison. An original poem by Timothy Van Beverhoudt, drama instructor at the Averitt Youth Theater, is also on tap.
Tickets for Behold are $12, and will go fast in the intimate 84-seat theater. A reception in the adjoining Rosengart Gallery will allow the audience to meet each of the talented participants.