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I Am a Man
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Performance Information

“I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” – Last words of Michael Brown, 18

Join us for a powerful, inspiring, 100-male-voice-strong collaboration among members of WPA’s own gospel choir, and Alexandria’s Alfred Street Baptist Church Choir, and special guests. With a title inspired by the historic civil rights declaration, “I am a man!,” the program has as its centerpiece the oratorio The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Atlanta-based composer Joel Thompson. With a nod to Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, the work is inspired by the last words of seven African American men—Michael Brown, Kenneth Chamberlain, John Crawford, Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, and Trayvon Martin—who died untimely deaths, in many cases while interacting with the police. In addition to being a moving memorial, the concert will shine a beacon of transparency on social-justice issues and celebrate the accomplishments of African American men who continue to thrive and enrich our community.

Co-presented with Alfred Street Baptist Church

This performance is made possible in part through the generous support of Encompass Supply/Rudy Burwell and Mona Mohib; Pepco, An Exelon Company; and Trista L.P. Colbert and Theodore Colbert. Additional support is provided by friends and family of Jenny Bilfield. 

Gospel music programs at Washington Performing Arts are made possible in part by the Beech Street Foundation and Mr. Jeffrey Bauman and Ms. Linda Fienberg, Hubert “Hank” Schlosberg and the Schlosberg Family, Trista L.P. Colbert and Theodore Colbert, Nationwide, Bruce Rosenblum and Lori Laitman, and Pepco, An Exelon Company.