Emmy-award nominated journalist, civil rights activist and former "First Lady of the Pentagon," Hoosier native Janet Langhart Cohen returns to Indianapolis this weekend. The renowned author and playwright brings her one-act play Anne & Emmett to the Indiana Repertory Theatre for a limited three-day-only performance, running this evening through Sunday.
Cohen wrote the powerful play that brings together two world-famous teens from two different eras and countries, but both of whom made a profound mark on history by their lives and their deaths. She gives a voice to Anne Frank and Emmett Till, both victims of racial and religious intolerance and hatred. But this imaginary conversation between the teens reminds us why we need to create dialogue around the issues and correct these injustices around the globe.
Our friends at WFYI sat down for a brief chat with Cohen prior to this evening's production. In it, she talks about returning to her hometown and what it was like growing up here during the same time Emmett Till's death sparked the national Civil Rights Movement. She also speaks about her beloved alma mater, Crispus Attucks High School, and how it prepared her and other African-American youth for a world when the common attitude was "if you're black, get back." The complete conversation can be seen on WFYI.org, but below is a glimpse for Sky Blue Window readers.