"In our efforts to give our kids the best, sometimes we completely remove them from their communities, and so what I began to see at Howard—it was a quick revelation—is that these students are coming to Howard seeking Blackness and how that was disrupting our ability to train them as artists. What the HBCU used to do was affirm it—that means it was a continuation of what was already being taught at home—and now we’re in this place where there is this thriving interest in the HBCU. Well, that means that the HBCU has got to get ready because we have to teach people a whole lot about themselves before we‘re able to cultivate them...if you don't have a strong understanding of who you are, where you come, the foundational understanding of your community, your ability to be successful will always be limited."
We chat with actor-musician and Howard University’s BFA Musical Theatre Coordinator Marty Austin Lamar about the dare that led him to musical theatre, the power of education in the pursuit of equity, and the lessons he brings from his acting career to the classroom.
Recommendations: Hazel Scott's two pianos video and Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope
Shout outs: Luther Wells, Dr. Valencia Matthews, Ledisi, Thomas Scott, Howard University's Musical Theatre Department (Brittany Chanel Johnson, Ricky Ramón, Douglas Bowles, Joe K. Hammond, Jocelyn Isaac Cox, Mama Pat)