As part of Judson College’s 175th anniversary celebration, the college will host four performances of JimmyLee, a poignant portrayal of Jimmie Lee Jackson, the young Civil Rights activist who died from injuries he received during a voting rights demonstration in Marion, Alabama, in 1965.
The play is also presented to commemorate Black History Month and to honor the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson.
The play, JimmyLee, will be performed at Judson College’s Alumnae Auditorium on February 26, 27, 28, and March 1 at 6:00p.m. each evening. Tickets for the event at Judson are $10 and may be purchased at the door.
The play will also be performed at 6:00p.m. on March 6, at the opening of Selma’s Annual Jubilee, hosted by Selma mayor George Evans in the Selma Performing Arts Center.
JimmyLee is written and directed by Billie Jean Young, JD., Judson College’s Artist in Residence and Associate Professor of Fine and Performing Arts.
According to Young, the play presents the seminal events in the voting rights movement leading up to the February 1965 death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year old activist who’d been demonstrating with a small group of voting rights supporters in Marion, Alabama. When the demonstration was interrupted by a city-wide blackout and Alabama State Troopers, Jackson was shot as he attempted to protect his mother and grandfather from violence. His death on February 26, 1965 sparked the Selma to Montgomery March, which resulted in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Young says she writes Civil Rights-era drama because the era is an important part of her own history. “I lived through this era. Who better to tell the stories? We cannot entrust our stories to anyone else’s telling. We must tell them ourselves. We must be the preservers of our own truths.”
Young recalls fond memories of her time as a student at Judson College, where she majored in English and minored in theater. She was cast in the first black play presented at Judson, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Young graduated from Judson with distinction in her major in 1974, becoming the first African-American to graduate from Judson College.
To reserve tickets to see JimmyLee performed on the Judson campus, please call the Judson College Business Office at 334-683-5125. To reserve your tickets for the Selma performance, please call the Selma Performing Arts Center at 334-874-2145.
For schedule of performances and flyer visit: www.judson.edu/175th/jimmylee/