by Deanna Dement Myers
‘Nat Turner in Jerusalem’ – Written by Nathan Alan Davis. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush; Scenic Design by Janie E. Howland Director; Costume Design by A.W. Nadine Grant,; Sound Design by Dewey Dellay; Lighting Design by Aja M. Jackson. Presented by the Actors Shakespeare Project in collaboration with Hibernian Hall, at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., Roxbury through February 24
“The uprisings will never cease until injustice ceases.”
In August 1831, thrice-sold Nat Turner, an educated preacher, led a two-day uprising of enslaved and free African American people that shook not only Jerusalem, Virginia, but our whole nation. Turner acted upon visions and signs from God, who called him to lead his people out of bondage. Approximately fifty white men, women and children were killed in the uprising, and the militia that retaliated murdered twice as many people of color, most who were not rebels. No white person was ever tried for their part in this horrific event. This insurrection lead to oppressive legislation designed to prohibit the education, movement and assembly of enslaved people. Turner was caught after two months on the run, tried, convicted and sentenced to hang until dead, dead, dead.