“Deeper Than The Skin”: A Musical Presentation on Race in America performed by Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 10/06/2018
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Location
Sanctuary

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https://deeperthantheskin.com/

Their Story

Reggie and Greg have a unique story.  Born three days apart, ancestors through the same portal of History, Richmond, VA, they are on a pilgrimage together – one that began three decades ago.  The racial divisions that are the reality of America started them in two different worlds, but the amazing bonds of music, respect, admiration, and shared vision have brought them together as friends and colleagues.

Where Do We Go From Here

The work of justice making is long and difficult.  They share not only a story of overcoming, but provide a living, breathing example of celebration, creative resistance, and joy.  There are many who say that they are the embodiment of those traits – that their talent and communication skills make their performances infectious.  Both are committed professionally to inspiring people, to encourage others to take that step beyond their comfort zone.  As they reach across the racial divide, they encourage others to foster the relationships that are, in the end a path to healing.

Bios

Reggie and Greg have been professional entertainers for over 30 years. From the beginnings of their relationship, they’ve talked about Race. It’s been a common theme in their music as evidenced by somewhere close to 25 CDs make between them as solos, as Kim and Reggie Harris, and as Brother Sun. Both have done many UU services as both the music and the sermon. Reggie is the Music Education Director for the Living Legacy Project. Kim and Reggie Harris and Brother Sun were the music for “Marching in the Arc of Justice,” the UU conference in Birmingham at the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights Action. Greg, with Brother Sun, was the music and an integral part of the opening service for the Providence GA. Reggie has been in or lead countless workshops on Race. He is a much beloved citizen of the Folk Music community. Greg’s song “Rosa Parks” could be heard for the first two years opening www.rosaparks.com. When they discovered that Reggie’s family history traced back to a plantation in Ashland, VA, just 15 miles from where Greg grew up in Richmond, they decided that it was the universe telling them that it was time to tell their story together. Coming into awareness at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, busing, and the Vietnam war gives a rich context from which to begin. Experiencing the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and its focus on moving into the future, has given them a vision of how to proceed.

QUOTES
“Deeper Than The Skin is an absolutely amazing experience. Not a performance (although these are two fine performers) but an experience. If you are anywhere within reach of this, don’t miss it.” -Selma Civil Rights activist Rev. Gordon Gibson, author of Southern Witness, Knoxville, TN

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Deeper Than The Skin is an invitation to journey with two friends through their experiences with race and its’ impact on their lives. Don’t be worried you’ll be preached at – this is an event of sharing and reflection, music and deep thought. Greg and Reggie are two of the most engaging performers you’d want to enjoy on a concert evening. To be invited into their lives to share their deepest concerns and memories is a rare privilege in a very memorable evening. This isn’t so much “two feet in the door” of a conversation on race, as it is two hearts – asking us to gather and share our histories, our reflections on where we’ve been and where we want and need to go. This presentation is an affirmation of the notion that a more perfect union begins with us. -Thea Hagepanos, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington, NC

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Deeper than the Skin is an extremely relevant musical experience that engages communities in conversations on race in our time. Greg and Reggie, using the power of music and storytelling, take audiences on a journey following their divergent backgrounds. Along the way, audience members have the opportunity for self-reflection, are united through musical participation, and have the chance to dialogue with the musicians and each other about their own experiences of race and their thoughts on where we go next as a community. Reggie and Greg are incredibly talented performers who provide an entertaining evening of music filled with messages of justice and hope.

In our often-divided town, Deeper than the Skin brought together a diverse audience and served as a starting point for future conversation and action. It was amazing to be in the room where hundreds of people from many backgrounds deeply engaged in the topic, were lifted by the spirit of the music, and made thought-provoking comments during the dialogue portion. People continue to talk about the concert weeks later. We would encourage every community to bring Deeper than the Skin to its residents – everyone should have the opportunity to share in this moving experience! – Jessica Sapalio, Williamsburg

Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Chair, Ariel BenYishay, Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary

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Comments from Students at the University of Mississippi

“The combination of songs and dialogue made me feel less scared about racial barriers, and more motivate to do whatever I can to try to tear down the invisible walls that still divide our society today. Their approach both puts the audience at ease, and then makes them uncomfortable, with tough questions that most people ignore.” from John

“”Having one black man and one white man made the program seem less about telling the audience what to do, and more about how actions affect others, and what we could try to do to improve our country….Harris and Greenway’s multi-racial approach to the racial division in America shows that they are already trying to live out their message every day.” John

“I was touched by the stories of overcoming the racial problems that the two musicians faced. I was inspired by the message to us in the crowd.” Camod

“They talked about the history that I have never known that has been left out of the history textbooks and left to be held by those that suffered and those who look for that suffering…. Why in history are stories not important? Why has history been downgraded to facts and numbers? Why do we not see the humanity in humanity through history? Anlu

“One of my favorite things about the two men was their ability to connect with the audience, getting the audience involved in every song but also being able to tell the audience deep stories and having everyone listen to what they are saying. I look forward to spreading their message and humming their songs!” Samuel

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The congregation was profoundly moved by Reggie and Greg’s “Deeper Than The Skin” worship service. They explored the issue of race and relationship with honest and bravery. Their singing moved us to tears and a new, deeper joy of the world they helped us see is possible. What I think was particularly effective is that they share theirown personal embeddedness in the history and legacy of racism in this country. It allows the audience to begin to make the same realization of their own lives.Rev. Joe Cleveland, minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs

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“I knew Reggie Harris through the Living Legacy Project when it came through Oxford, and was impressed with the smoothness of his voice and the passion he invested in his music. Thus, in June 2017, when I saw Reggie’s name on the program for the Unitarian Universalist Associations’ General Assembly in New Orleans, I knew I needed to attend his session with Greg Greenway.

While Reggie is a gem all by himself, the camaraderie, respect, and caring of Greg and Reggie together is amazing! Their voices support and complement each other in magical ways. In New Orleans, they had a packed conference room singing, dancing, and clapping with them after just a few minutes. Two Oxford, MS, residents made an instant decision that these two needed to perform a concert in Oxford, and started working on that goal that afternoon!

Reggie and Greg performed two concerts in Oxford in February 2018, sharing their stories and music with two very appreciative audiences. They helped to focus ongoing conversations about reaching across America’s racial divide in an effort to find a path to healing. Any community looking for an outstanding musical performance that challenges the mind along with the heart should consider inviting this marvelous duo to visit!!!” – Marge Holland, Professor of Biology, University of Mississippi

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” It was a phenomenal program. I’m hoping you are booked far and wide so as many people as possible are exposed to the energy, sincerity, honesty, and love that it encompasses.” – Lauren T. Furey, Manager of Visitor Engagement at The Mariners’ Museum and Park, Newport News, VA

 

 

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