HUNTERSVILLE – In the name of telling the whole story of life at Latta Plantation, the site is welcoming an actress portrayal of Harriet Tubman during Black History Month.
Carolyn Evans, a New York actress who also keeps a home in Wake County, will perform what’s billed as a “histo-drama” Feb. 15 in the plantation barn.
Evans’ one-woman show presents moments from the life Tubman, known most notably her for her involvement in the Underground Railroad. But the actress wants to spread the word of a wider range of what Tubman represented.
“I would like them to learn her love of people, her obligation to humans,” said Evans, who portrays other influential black women including Sojourner Truth, Mamie Till and Sara Margru Kinson. “She was a humanist. She was a suffragette, an abolitionist.”
Latta Executive Director Annemarie Reiley-Kay said the story of Tubman helps make the site’s education programs more complete.
“This organization represents a larger community, and it’s important to represent the community as a whole,” Reiley-Kay said, noting Latta’s teaching of the Underground Railroad to school groups. “To be authentic, you have to do that. That’s where a lot of places get themselves in trouble. We’re a historic site but we’re an educational site, so we have to tell the greater story.”
In her 45-minute show, Evans will take the audience through Tubman’s life during the Victorian era, including the Civil War. Tubman was part of the Combahee Ferry Raid, Battle of Fort Wagner, draft riots and the heroic Gullah Geechee 2nd South Carolina unit.
“She was one of the most heroic women in America during the Victorian era,” Evans said. “Her dreams of emancipating people, whether physically or spiritually, are still a driving force in America today.”
The performance is free to the public, and Reiley-Kay asks that those planning to attend RSVP by calling the site.
“We’ve had a very positive response,” she said. “If the weather was nice enough, we could do it outdoors on the benches.”
Evans is currently on tour, and has several stops in the Carolinas, including Southport, the House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site near Sanford and eventually the Black Cowboy Festival in Rembert, S.C., in May.
She said despite having multiple figures she can portray, “Everybody’s asking about Harriet.”
There were less than 20 seats left as of Tuesday, Feb. 5. There will be light refreshments and a meet-and-greet with Evans following her performance. For more information, visit www.lattaplantation.org and click on the “events” link.