click to enlarge Top left: Sojourner Truth, top right: Zora Neale Hurston, Bottom left: Clementine Hunter, Bottom right: Fannie Lou Hamer
Top left: Sojourner Truth, top right: Zora Neale Hurston, Bottom left: Clementine Hunter, Bottom right: Fannie Lou Hamer

The theatrical and musical production “Ain’t I a Woman!” will celebrate the lives of four historically significant African-American women as part of the Lewis-Clark State College Silverthorne Artist’s Series.

These women are portrayed by actress Shayla Simmons, who will interact with the Core Ensemble trio as they present negro spirituals, jazz pieces and concert music written by African-American composers.

Find out what you know about these four influential women by matching the facts with the right woman:

  1. Best known for her extemporaneous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman,” which did not originally include that phrase
  2. Worked as a maid to a lead singer in the Gilbert & Sullivan theatrical company
  3. Sold at an auction with a flock of sheep for $100
  4. Anthropologist and novelist, best known for “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
  5. Never traveled more than 100 miles from her home
  6. Civil rights leader and activist who worked for voting registration and rights of African-Americans
  7. Lived next door to Langston Hughes
  8. Self-taught folk artist
  9. First black woman to challenge a white man in U.S. court
  10. Attended school until the age of 13, became plantation records keeper after the owner learned she was literate
  11. Advocate for abolition, women’s rights, prison reform and property rights
  12. Worked as field hand, cook and housekeeper at Melrose Plantation, a mecca for the arts in Louisiana
  13. Known for the phrase “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” which appears on her gravestone
  14. Lied about her birth year in order to qualify to attend a free high school
  15. First language was Dutch, did not learn English until around the age of 11
  16. Painted her first artwork on a window shade using supplies left by an artist
  17. Sang Christian hymns to support fellow activists
  18. Studied at various universities and collected folklore from the South, Caribbean and Latin America
  19. Did not begin the work she was famous for until her 50s
  20. During a surgery to remove a tumor, she was given a hysterectomy without her consent as part of state plan to reduce the number of poor blacks
Answers: Sojourner Truth: 1, 3, 9, 11, 15; Zora Neale Hurston: 2, 4, 7, 14, 18; Clementine Hunter: 5, 8, 12, 16, 19; Fannie Lou Hamer: 6, 10, 13, 17, 20


WHAT: “Ain’t I a Woman!” WHEN: 7 p.m. March 2 WHERE: Silverthorne Theater, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston COST: $15/adults, $13/seniors and children, free for LCSC students with valid student ID card, purchase tickets at or in person at the LCSC Center for Arts & History between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

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