Did you enjoy the movie "Green Book" and feel surprised by how much you learned in the course of being entertained? Ever wondered what just one person could do to help bridge the racial divide in this country? Ever felt too overwhelmed to know where to start?
Help is on the horizon in the form of the Cape Cod premiere of "Deeper than the Skin," a musical presentation on race, on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harwich Cultural Center.
Folk artist, activist and acclaimed singer/songwriter Greg Greenway will team up with musician and fellow singer/songwriter Reggie Harris to share through music and story their 30-year friendship and unique bond that transcends race and upbringing.
“Deeper than Skin" explores Greenway and Harris' unique history, one a white man from the capital of the Confederacy, the other a black man whose maternal ancestor was a slave on a plantation just outside of Richmond.
"Our friendship and conversations about history and race were part of my own healing and part of Greg's as well," Harris wrote recently. He described the show as one "where we share our stories and use music to open a channel of communication."
"The program is open active and interactive. It begins with music!" Harris added. "We get people singing. Then we share some poetry, a bit more song and then each of us tells our own story. Each of our stories are punctuated with a song written from our experiences of being who we are in this sometimes maddening, draining society of racial pain and mistrust."
The program includes an opportunity for the audience to share their stories, he said. "Personal stories connect us to the deepest parts of who we are as a human family."
The event is a first for Cape Cod, but has been presented throughout the country, often at churches. Greenway, who previously lived in Harwich, was a founder of the Clothesline Concert series that helped raise money for the victims of domestic abuse. Harris is the music director of the Living Legacy Project of the Unitarian Universalist Association and co-leads civil rights tours of the south.
Greenway and Harris have a simple but powerful goal for the evening.
"Our goal is to educate, inform, share and hopefully inspire people to take a risk and become part of the solution in lessening racism," Harris stressed. "We offer our stories as ourselves, not as experts, but as two brothers who, with open hearts, have found light in each other and who want to share that light. We try to give people hope so that they don't feel there is nothing that they can do to make a change in the flow of our national dialogue."
Only 200 tickets are available for the concert, sponsored by the Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival. Tickets are $20 for general seating and $30 front center section, available exclusively via Brown Paper Tickets online at deeperthantheskinharwich.brownpapertickets.com/ or by phone at 800-838-3006. The Harwich Cultural Center, formerly is Harwich Middle School, is located at 204 Sisson Rd. According to organizers, it is not fully accessible; contact 508-432-1885 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.