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FFRF grant helps fund play on Jonestown

A play about black women’s experience in the 1978 Jonestown tragedy has been aided by a $2,500 grant from FFRF.

The play, “White Nights, Black Paradise,” is based off the book of the same name by Sikivu Hutchinson, an atheist author, playwright and founder of Black Skeptics Los Angeles. FFRF interviewed Hutchinson about the book on Freethought Radio in August of last year.

“White Nights, Black Paradise” is a historical stage play which traces the 30-year history of the Peoples Temple, culminating in the massacre of more than 900 people, half of them black, in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. It interlocks stories of African-American women characters against the historical backdrop of the Great Migration, the rise and fall of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and Black Power and LGBTQ movements.

Black Skeptics Los Angeles, with project director Hutchinson, has been awarded $10,000 for its project by California Humanities, which has pledged $175,000 in awards to 11 projects for its 2019 All Project Grant program.

The two-year play project will be developed with the support of the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Jonestown Institute and FFRF.

FFRF also collaborates with Black Skeptics Los Angeles to choose recipients of FFRF’s Catherine Fahringer Memorial Scholarship awards, which go to minority students who are first in their family to attend college.

Sikivu Hutchinson