STAFF WRITER

Erin McCullough

 

On Friday night Tullahoma will be treated to an introspective performance about the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at South Jackson Civic Center.

The performance is a be a one-man act from Phil Darius Wallace, a Memphis-based performer who has visited South Jackson over the last few years bringing a wealth of historical figures to life.

Wallace, who said he is looking forward to his annual Tullahoma visit, will bring back to life the prolific Civil Rights leader in the form of a one-man show that will feature a special question-and-answer segment.

The format of the show will cover the early years of King as well as his famous speeches, said Wallace.

Given how divided the country seems, Wallace said, he feels his show is needed now more than ever and that the country needs to hear the message of King once again.

“I think that there has been a lot of movement forward, but I think there’s a lot of issues that have worsened, actually,” he said.

“I believe those issues—some of the very issues that King was dealing with in the 1960s—need to be readdressed and retackled immediately,” Wallace said.

 

Background

According to his website, Wallace is a Flint, Michigan native who has been performing and speaking publicly for most of his life.

He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, as well as the State University of New York in Purchase, New York.

He has been involved in the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the Flint Youth Theater and the Hattiloo Theater in Memphis.

He is currently a member of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company and Play Back Memphis.

Wallace said he has been performing his one-man show for the last 20 years. Other versions of the show include an introspection on Langston Hughes and Frederick Douglass.

When asked what inspired him to do shows of this nature, Wallace said it was King’s courage that drew him into King’s life.

“The idea that if we all, like King, are willing to embrace our courage in the face of fear then we all will have a great opportunity to not only live our dream, but help other people’s dreams come true,” he said.

“Really, his courage was the thing that drew me into him, because he dealt with death threats—you know, he would receive up to 40 calls a day of death threats—and nevertheless he faced it.”

 

If you want to go

Those looking for tickets to Friday night’s show can call the South Jackson Civic Center at 455-5321 or visit southjackson.org. Tickets are $18.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on Wallace, visit his website at www.solospire.com.

Erin McCullough may be reached at tnrept09@lcs.net.

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