A Showcase and Community Discussion on The Legacy of Black Women and the African American Community in Peoples Temple and Jonestown
The new historical stage play, “White Nights, Black Paradise”, by L.A.-based writer Sikivu Hutchinson, is based on the arc of the predominantly African American female Peoples Temple church and the November 1978 Jonestown, Guyana massacre. It is the first literary, theatrical production to foreground the lived experiences and social history of African American women members of Jonestown and Peoples Temple through interlocking, multi-generational characters from all walks of life. In this showcase, actors from the “White Nights, Black Paradise” cast will perform select scenes from the play, followed by a panel discussion with Jonestown survivors and community scholars. The panel will contextualize Peoples Temple and Jonestown vis-à-vis the Great Migration, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, Black Power, and the LGBTQ movement, toward a deeper understanding of Jonestown’s implications for contemporary Black San Francisco and beyond.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org. Additional support was generously provided by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.