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Save the Date January 14, 2024
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Black Tie International Magazine:
The Story of Elizabeth Jennings

The Story of Elizabeth Jennings


NEW YORK CITY—In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Opera Exposures presents “The Story of Elizabeth Jennings: 100 Years Before Rosa Parks” at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery on Sunday, January 14, 2024. 

The 3 p.m. recital featuring two world-renowned opera singers will celebrate the remarkable life of a 19th-century hidden figure.

In 1854, Jennings was on her way to church in Manhattan when she boarded a segregated street car. The conductor attempted several times to physically remove her, but Jennings resisted. Finally, police officers ejected her from the street car.

“The authorities had no idea who they were discriminating against that day,” says Edna Greenwich, founder and director of Opera Exposures. “Jennings didn’t just sit down. She literally fought to take a seat to stand up for justice.”

Artists will perform classical music and spirituals inspired by Jennings, who successfully sued the Third Avenue Railroad Company, which ended its practice of racial discrimination.  

Paying tribute will be featured soprano Nia Drummond, featured tenor Edward Washington II and Jonathan Cameron Kelly on piano. Anthony Turner will serve as moderator.

Opera Exposures is a nonprofit performing arts organization launched in 2004 to present seasoned professionals and young artists in accessible venues at affordable prices to reach a broader audience. “We strive to highlight forgotten stories from our past and honor those contributions in song,” says Greenwich whose mantra is “Everyone loves opera, they just don’t know it yet.”

St. Marks is located at 131 E. 10th Street on the Lower East Side. Check Eventbrite to purchase tickets ($30) and/or make donations.

For more information, contact:
Stephanie Dawson Russell
Associate Director, Opera Exposures
(937) 207-1311


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