By Kelly Dickey The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — The light is at the end of the tunnel for Paramount Theatre’s Black History Month Celebration Series.
The theater will close its series with “This Little Light of Mine – Civil Rights through the Eyes of a Child” at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Indianapolis storyteller Deborah Asante will return to the Paramount to tell the story of the Children’s Crusade of 1963 through the perspective of a young child who marched in Birmingham, Ala.
“It illustrates what that struggle meant across the board; what was felt even as young children,” Asante said. “The battle was being lost in Birmingham because adults weren’t fighting because the effects were losing their jobs and there was violence.”
The presentation will show how children were able to step up and make a change in the civil rights movement, Asante said. Even elementary students left school and marched to demand equal rights.
She said the Children’s Crusade and the violence inflicted on kids helped open the eyes of people who weren’t progressive enough. Many who maybe didn’t consider themselves racist but weren’t helping the movement saw a reason to be active.
The storyteller isn’t new to the Paramount. She opened the series with presenter Bob Sander in “Stories from the Underground Railroad” in January. They told the tale of two children escaping to freedom by traveling along the Underground Railroad.
In February, the Paramount brought storyteller Rochel Garner Coleman III to illustrate what it was like for the first black United States military pilots in World War II through the character Capt. Charles H. Debrow. Alaska Reeves, an Indianapolis resident, also spoke about his real-life experiences as a Tuskegee Airman in the war.
Now Asante gets to bring the series to a close as the final act.
“When I was there the first time I thought, ‘Wow, I get to come back,’” she said.
Asante, who works with Arts for Learning Indiana, often tells stories in classrooms. But she loves working with a family, multigenerational audience.
“(The Paramount) is lovely, so it helps to be in a beautiful place with history like that,” she said. “I love a family audience and I’m just hoping more people show up because the weather was crazy (in January).”
Asante said “This Little Light of Mine” has potential to really resonate with her younger viewers as a source of inspiration.
“It empowers children,” she said. “It lets them know they have a say in our history.”
Tickets for “This Little Light of Mine” cost $7 for adults and $3 for children and students. Tickets can be purchased at the Paramount Box Office 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They can also be purchased online at andersonparamount.org.
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If you go What: "This Little Light of Mine - Civil Rights Through the Eyes of a Child" When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 Where: Paramount Theatre, 1124 Meridian Plaza, Anderson Cost: $7 for adults; $3 for children and students Tickets: Paramount Box Office open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday, or online at andersonparamount.org.