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Rachel Westley

playwright and director, author, and educator, was born in Greenwich Village, New York, to Thelma Inez Harrison and Paul Randolph Harrison. Although he was reared in the North and nurtured by the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance, his roots are from below the Mason-Dixon Line, in North and South Carolina.

In the South the Harrison family was strongly immersed in Gullah culture and Marcus Garvey s Back to Africa movement Harrison s grandfather in fact was a major leader of and played an active role in the Garvey movement in North Carolina The household was also greatly involved in the African Methodist Episcopal AME Church in the Carolinas and much of the mystical curiosity in Harrison s work can be attributed to his grandmother s spiritual influence He was embraced by this richness as a young man and it created the resonating aura of self ...


Melissa Vickery-Bareford

theatrical director and playwright, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of John Hill and Minnie (maiden name unknown). His father, a fireman on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, participated in salary protests that forced him to leave the railroad after World War I; he then became a housepainter.

Abram appeared at the Morehouse College Chapel at the age of seven but did not pursue an interest in the stage. At the age of fourteen he fell ill with a severe case of pneumonia and spent two months in a hospital. The experience inspired him to become a surgeon, and in 1925 the Hill family moved to New York City to provide Abram with more educational opportunities. He attended Theodore Roosevelt High School and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in 1929 Hill then spent three years working at Macy s department store as an elevator operator while ...