Show keeps Oscar Brown's message alive

February 10, 2012 3:51:06 PM PST
The life of Chicago native Oscar Brown Jr. came alive on stage in two performances Friday at the DuSable Museum.

"Something About Oscar" is a social commentary on the life of Brown, who was a writer, poet and commentator on life and the civil rights movement.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we meet the people behind the show who are keeping Brown's message alive.

"Something About Oscar" was the creation of Morris Gearring. He is a personal shopper at Nieman Marcus who says he was inspired to write this show after failing to be admitted to the Yale School of Drama in 1985. He performed a piece from Oscar Brown Jr.'s reportorial, and he wants to pay homage to the man he says encouraged him to pursue his passion.

"I was his opening act when I was 23 years old," said Gearring, "so to go from studying with him to showcasing and performing his songs is a superb blessing."

Gearring met Brown when he was 10 years old and he has been working on this cabaret show for nearly a quarter a century.

Gearring performs with actress Maggie Brown, the daughter of the legendary singer.

"I remember being a little girl...going to try to do something with my life, to shine a light," Brown said. "I know I was outstanding and to be blessed with talent ability to sing."

Friday's performance had a special guest . Nikki Giovanni, the renowned educator, poet and activist. The 68-year-old was a friend of Brown and was his daughter's professor, so being a part of this performance for her is celebrating his legacy.

"I feel like history embracing strength of the people opening up to another audience," said Giovanni.

The audience was made up of the entire 6th grade class at Crete-Monee Middle School. Some of the students had the opportunity to meet the performers and found that lessons can be learned outside of the classroom.

"I did a report on Nikki Giovanni and got an A," said Matthew Brown. "I was so glad to meet her. Me and my mom are a fan of hers."

"I taught us how African-Americans expressed themselves through music," said Sophia Zimmerman.

There is another show Friday night at 8 p.m. at the DuSable Museum and a VIP reception before the performance. Tickets are still available

Something About Oscar
February 10 at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
DuSable Museum, 740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL