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Issue Date: February 2011

Race Relating

Preview three stories from the Akron Color Line Project.
Christina Bernecker

The Akron Color Line Project performers spent two years immersed in the city's neighborhoods collecting tales of racism and the perseverance shown in the face of it. The group, which is made up of University of Akron students, will bring those stories to life at E.J. Thomas Hall Feb. 10. "Racism doesn't always mean oppression," says senior India Burton. "It's still very prevalent, and that's why people should see [the show]." Here's a preview of three stories featured in the performance.

India Burton

Akron Now

Adapted by India Burton

Set in present day Akron, the story focuses on the lives of children born during the emergence of crack cocaine. "The ghetto is a place that's often ignored and isolated," says Burton, who collected the story from the neighborhood she grew up in and will play one of the two main characters. "This is the reality of so many African-Americans today."

Sarah Taylor

White Water, Color Water

Adapted by Sarah Taylor

This performance revisits the days of segregated water fountains in America, detailing the experience of two little girls. One is experiencing racism for the first time, and the other has known it all her life. "It shows blatant racism; it's important that it's children and not adults because they shouldn't have to go through this," says Taylor, a junior who plays the role of one of the little girls.

Yulia Gray

The 300 Dollar Dress

Adapted by Yulia Gray

Gray, a graduate student, will read this dramatic dialogue set in 1954 about an African-American couple's attempt to buy a $300 dress in the presence of a racist store clerk, who refuses to believe they can afford such luxury. "I think it's a powerful example of how people make assumptions that can turn out to be completely wrong," Gray says.

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