Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Miss Fannie Belle Lebby’s Women of Tears and Laughter: An Evening with Alberta Hunter and Jackie “Moms” Mabley

On Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 PM in Abbott Auditorium, at Southern Illinois University, the Women's Studies Department presented a special event as part of Women’s History Month 2009. Fanny's cousin Lavelle Wilkins-Chin drove us over to the Edwardsville Campus in the pouring rain. The two of us laughed, clapped and sang along to yet another of Miss Fanny's memorable performances.

Yes'm it was all that was promised: an interactive, sizzling stage extravaganza with humorous anecdotes, stories, political commentary, and music that is comic and replete with sexual innuendos. This show celebrates the lives and work of courageous African-American entertainers who challenged gender and racial discrimination.

Miss Fannie Belle Lebby--actress-director-storyteller-Community Arts Educator--turned in two marvelous performances of two African American legends: Jackie “Moms” Mabley, a politically conscious comedienne; and Alberta Hunter, a blues singer and songwriter.

Then, the prize of the evening. Miss Fannie nvited us over to her loft where her dynamic husband Dennis had a celebratory cake waiting for us. This is what I've dreamed of doing: being part of a creative community here in St. Louis...informally visiting and sharing views and quips together.

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1 Responses »

  1. Mmmmm ... that sounds like a memorable evening. Fannie Belle Brown (nee Kite) was my great-or great-great something. I've lost track, but she was born in 1881. Loved that name, and glad to know there are still some Fannie Belle's out there!

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