Anna Deavere Smith’s recitation of the Seven Last Words of Christ. Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA.
The celebrated ensemble performs Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, the composer’s reflection on Good Friday, interspersed with reflections by Anna Deavere Smith; Dr. Sandra Montes, Dean of Chapel at Union Theological Seminary; Uriah Kim, President, Graduate Theological Union; and the Very Rev. Dr. Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus of Grace Cathedral.
The Seven Last Words of Christ by Joseph Haydn was commissioned in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (Holy Cave Oratory) in Cádiz, Spain. The seven main meditative sections—labelled “sonatas” and all slow—are framed by a slow Introduction and a fast “Earthquake” conclusion, for a total of nine movements. At the request of his publisher, the composer in 1787 produced a version for string quartet: Haydn’s Opus 51. This is the form in which the music is most often heard today.
Every week Chris Hayes asks the big questions that keep him up at night. How do we make sense of this unprecedented moment in world history? Why is this (all) happening? Tonight he covers these tough questions with a special guest, critically acclaimed playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith who crafts groundbreaking art at the intersection of journalism and theater. Listen to the podcast here.
In 1968, history found us at a small women’s college, forging our Black identity and empowering our defiance.
My high-school counselor at Western High School, an all-girls public school in Baltimore, was a rotund white woman with a pleasant but less than energetic countenance. She was wholly absent from my education until one day, after rumblings about affirmative action in colleges had begun shaking the ground that Negroes traversed to higher education, she suddenly summoned my mother and me for a meeting. My mother, a veteran teacher in Baltimore’s public schools, took the afternoon off. We sat in the high-ceilinged counseling office, prim and proper as can be, while the counselor showed us one pamphlet after another with images of white girls in sweater sets relaxing in bucolic environments.