On February 6 “Our Story,” a musical focused on uplifting Black history, will be coming to Bakersfield at the Fox Theater.
Brandon Brown the CEO of School Yard Rap and also the producer, writer, and lead actor of Our Story spoke about the importance of teaching Black history beyond slavery and segregation.
“There’s so much conversation around teaching about history in negative ways,” said Brown. “I felt it prudent to show all Americans regardless of race, color, creed, or religion the impact that Africans and African Americans have had on the world stage and on American History. The show is more than just slavery and segregation. It’s not critical race theory.”
Brown stated that people need to see Black history highlighted because it shows them that their worth and value are more than slavery and what is taught in schools. Learning about the positive part of history gives families a reason to celebrate according to Brown.
Representation is another part of why Brown sees this musical and learning about history as so important. He explained that part of why the history that is taught in school tends to be negative is because it is not written by African Americans.
“In learning more about their history I think students will have a better outlook on life. They’ll see that their possibilities are more than just what media gives us. Especially as Black folks as thugs, athletes, and hoodrats but rather, scientists, mathematicians, surgeons, physicians,” said Brown.
Brown is hopeful that seeing Black people as these roles in history will lead more Black students to join STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) related fields.
With youth in mind, Brown sees integrating Hip Hop and learning as crucial when connecting with people to create change.
“If you ask anyone to say their ABC’s they start singing it. I think music is the great connector no matter what culture, race, or religion, music connects us all. I think especially when it comes to learning and retention of knowledge, music definitely helps. Lastly, for this music-saturated generation, Hip Hop is the culture of America, especially America’s youth regardless of race.
“Uplift” is what Brown hopes each person takes away from the musical. He wants them to see that their stories and the stories of those around them matter.
To young Black students who may not know much about their history or feel hopeful about the history and change Brown shared a line from the musical.
“You came from kings Black man, know your roots. You came from queens Black woman, know your truth. We are the product of scientists, mathematicians, surgeons, physicians, lawyers, dentists, merchants and smiths, and engineer building genius inventing kings and queens.”
The show will be at 7 p.m and tickets can be purchased here along with viewing the trailer.