The DC Black Theatre & Arts Festival
WHO MUST YOU BE
Daughter of the Civil Rights Movement, Ayanna Gregory, explores the continuum of racism in America through her artistic exposé of the music industry, education, and the juvenile injustice system. Through soulful monologues, movement and song, she reveals the war on Black youth and their refusal to die. Gregory evokes the power of transformation as she journeys from past to present to proclaim the brilliance and resilience of the African Spirit.
*Not suitable for ages under 12
MEET DCBTAF ALUMNI AYANNA GREGORY
For this singer, dramatist, educator and activist, music and art are more than entertainment; they are her mission. And with penetrating depth, Ayanna’s music is making audiences feel and heal. In a time so needy of real and responsible art, Ayanna is bringing to the world a most beautiful and meaningful gift for the human Spirit.
Ayanna is no stranger to the entertainment world. While growing up as the daughter of celebrated Comedian and Human Rights Activist Dick Gregory, she was blessed with the opportunity to interact with such mega talents as Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson. But the glamour of the entertainment world isn’t what resonated most with her. Raised with a deep awareness and concern for Human Rights, Ayanna’s musical roots are steeped in the struggle of the “Freedom Movement”. Ayanna knew early on that her gift of song would be her gift to the struggle.
Ayanna’s mission continues to take her around the country and across the globe. In addition to her life as a soul singer, she spends much of her time as an educator and motivational speaker, teaching life skills and creative arts to school children and lecturing before diverse audiences. In the last decade, Ayanna’s artistic journey has evolved into a great love for theater. In 2014, she created an unforgettable one-woman show entitled “Daughter Of The Struggle” which she is currently touring throughout the US. Described by Martin Luther King III as “magnificent and inspiring!”, this play is a deeply personal journey into the Gregory legacy. This autobiographical performance reveals Ayanna’s multi-faceted existence as a child of the Civil Rights Movement. And lastly, Ayanna’s newest creation is a brand new one-woman production entitled, “Who Must You Be” which will debut at the 2019 DC Black Theatre Festival. This play exlores the juvenile injustice system and is a powerful ode to the resilient Black child fighting to survive and thrive in America.
Ayanna recorded works include “Beautiful Flower” (2003), “Ballad For My Father: Tribute to Dick Gregory” (2007), “Now” (2011), “I DREAM A WORLD” ( 2013), and “Mama This One’s For You” (2014)
Songstress, writer, dramatist, educator and activist, Ayanna Gregory stands as a beautiful continuum of a powerful legacy.