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Published on April 13th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


The Story of the Friendship 9; “No Fear For Freedom, The Musical”

Columbia, SC –On Friday May 1, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor Street, Columbia, SC, the Renaissance Foundation will present the Story of the Friendship 9, “No Fear For Freedom, The Musical”. This theatrical presentation is the story of The Friendship 9, a group of young students from Rock Hill, South Carolina, who went to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory’s lunch counter in 1961. The theatrical event is in honor of former Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, Ernest A. Finney, who was the defense attorney for The Friendship 9.

No Fear For Freedom, The Musical, is adapted from the children’s book written by Mrs. Kimberly P. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson, author, playwright, and composer, and Mr. Bruce McKagan, lyricist, retell the 1961 story of nine brave young men who stood up for justice and equality. The premise of their campaign of Jail, No Bail! helped shift the civil rights movement into a new call for equality and human justice. This riveting story takes the audience back to a time when injustices were the norm and freedom was the plea. Don’t miss this powerful performance full of original songs and messages that prove nonviolence can create change! The Friendship 9 finally received their justice when they re-entered the courtroom on January 28, 2015 to have their records vacated after 54 years. Their original defense attorney, Retired Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr., was at their side once again.  In the words of John C. Hayes III,

Chief Administrative Judge, SC 16th Judicial Circuit  “We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history. Now, as to the Friendship Nine, is the time and opportunity to do so. Now is the time to recognize that justice is not temporal, but is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. was right: The universe is on the side of justice.

It is important that our youth know and understand the history of those who gave so much for civil rights.   The musical is both educational and entertaining.  The future Civil Rights museum that we are imagining and planning will house historical artifacts and documents of the Civil Rights Movement, the African American Ecumenical Faith Community, and UBF of South Carolina “Hall of Fame” inductees. Historic Bethel was built in 1921 by one of the first African American architects, John Anderson Lanksford, who has the distinction of being the first African American with an established architectural office in Washington, DC.

We hope you will join us for this historical event. Tickets can be purchased at the Township Auditorium ticket office at 1703 Taylor Street, (1-800-745-3000) or online at Adult tickets are $20.00 and Students with ID are $10.00. The proceeds from this event will go towards the restoration and transformation of Historic Bethel into a Cultural Arts Center and the new “Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr. Civil Rights Museum. For more information contact the Renaissance Foundation at 803-733-5634.



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