Just two days after the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., students watched the performance of “The Women Behind King” put on by dancers with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Second Company. The performance was in conjunction with Muse Machine’s In-School performance program.
“For a long time, I was curious about the women of the civil rights movement,” said Shonna Hickman-Matlock, the Director of Education & Outreach Services with DCDC. “I thought there had to be a significant role there but women were being under-represented. I did research and found they had significant roles — they stood with King, not just behind him, but with him. We often hear, “Behind every man is a great woman,” and we sometimes overlook those women.”
The contemporary dance performance also featured music and sound bites from newsreels from the civil rights movement.
“I think it’s pretty cool to showcase this because by being part of this performance, I learned stuff that I hadn't learned back in high school,” said dancer Sierra McCurtis. “This part of history is now rooted into my femininity.”
Dancer Willa Marks agreed, “We’re all girls in the second company this year so I think it’s a great program. It’s really exciting to get to to share this information with students.”
Hickman-Matlock added that bringing the performance of “The Women Behind King” to schools began in 2019, which was the Year of the Woman.
“History is significant to our future,” said Hickman-Matlock. “We have to know our past to move forward. Women can teach their own daughters to take pride in their achievements and contributions. Also, young men can learn that young women have value too.”
Posted January 23, 2020