Vineyard Theatre and Barnes & Noble Booksellers to present panel discussion “The Scottsboro Boys: A Conversation About the Case and Its Legacy”

Sunday, February 28 at 6:30 pm
Union Square Barnes & Noble
33 E. 17 St. – 4th floor

Event free and open to the public

Three leading scholars on civil rights, civil liberties and the infamous ‘Scottsboro  case’ in Alabama in the 1930’s will comprise the panel at a public forum entitled “The Scottsboro Boys: A Conversation About the Case and its Legacy,” presented by the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre and Union Square Barnes & Noble Booksellers (33 E. 17 Street) on Sunday, February 28 at 6:30 pm.

The event is free and open to the general public.

The February 28th panel will be comprised of:  Dr. Kwando Kinshasa, Chair of the African-American Studies Department at John Jay College and author of the book “The Man from Scottsboro”; James Goodman, professor of history at Rutgers University and author of the book “Stories of Scottsboro”; and David Troutt, also a member of the faculty at Rutgers, as well a lawyer and former editor of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

The panel discussion at Barnes & Noble is being presented in conjunction with Vineyard Theatre’s world premiere production of the new Kander and Ebb musical THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS – with direction and choreography by Tony winner Susan Stroman – which begins previews Off-Broadway at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street – between Union Sq. East and Irving Place) on February 12 prior to an official opening date of March 10.

With music and lyrics by the renowned Tony Award-winning team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (“Chicago,” “Cabaret”), and a book by David Thompson, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS is a stirring new musical that explores the infamous 1930’s ‘Scottsboro Case’, in which a group of innocent African-American teenagers are falsely accused of a terrible crime — ultimately provoking a national outrage that sparked the American Civil Rights movement.

The panel discussion and THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS musical are just two cultural events that will bring the notorious ‘Scottsboro case’ back into the public eye 80 years after the fact:  on Monday, February 1, 2010  in the town of Scottsboro, Alabama, a museum that commemorates the trial will open, featuring an exhibition of documents and artifacts relevant to the trial.  The museum opens following a years-long effort spearheaded by Shelia Washington, a Scottsboro native, who has said in published reports that a primary goal of the museum is to call attention to the fact that the Civil Rights movement indeed began in Scottsboro with the trial, not in Montgomery, Alabama as is widely-believed.

About the February 28th Panelists:

Dr. Kwando Mbiasso Kinshasa is the Chairperson of the John Jay College African American Studies Department and author of several books on migration and social violence. His works include: EMIGRATION AND ASSIMILATION: THE DEBATE IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESS, THE MAN FROM SCOTTSBORO: CLARENCE NORRIS AND THE INFAMOUS 1931 ALABAMA TRIAL, IN HIS OWN WORDS and BLACK RESISTANCE TO THE KU KLUX KLAN IN THE WAKE OF CIVIL WAR. Dr. Kinshasa was part of the Advisory Board for the 2001 production of the award winning film documentary “Scottsboro: An American Tragedy.”

James Goodman is a professor of history at the Newark campus of Rutgers University, where he served as Chair of the History Department from 1999 to 2002. In 1994, Mr. Goodman’s much acclaimed book, STORIES OF SCOTTSBORO, was published. Civil war historian, James McPherson, said about the book that Goodman had invented “a new way of writing history.” In addition to the critical praise STORIES OF SCOTTSBORO earned Goodman a position as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in history. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a Shelby Cullom Davis Center Fellow at Princeton University.

David Troutt joined the Rutgers faculty in 1995. As a lawyer, Troutt practiced both public interest and corporate law, advocating on a broad range of areas including inner-city economic development, intellectual property and commercial litigation. Professor Troutt is the author of THE MONKEY SUIT – AND OTHER SHORT FICTION ON AFRICAN AMERICANS AND JUSTICE, a collection of stories chronicling the imagined experiences of African Americans involved in actual legal controversies from 1830 to the present. He is also a regular columnist for the New York Times, the LA Times and other periodicals on the subjects of race, law and society.

The 13-member cast of THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS will feature two-time Tony winner John Cullum, Colman Domingo, Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, Sean Bradford, Josh Breckenridge, Derrick Cobey, Rodney Hicks, Kendrick Jones, Forrest McClendon, Julius Thomas III, Sharon Washington, Cody Ryan Wise and Christian White.

John Kander and the late Fred Ebb created such celebrated, Tony Award-winning musicals as CABARET, CHICAGO, CURTAINS and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN.  THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS is the last musical the duo created together before Mr. Ebb’s death in 2004.

Performances of the Kander and Ebb musical THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS will be Tuesdays at 7 pm, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm at Vineyard Theatre.

For more information about Vineyard Theatre, call the box office at 212-353-0303 or visit

“The Scottsboro Boys: A Conversation About the Case and its Legacy” takes place on Sunday, February 28 at 6:30pm at the Union Square Barnes & Noble 4th Floor Event Space (33 East 17th Street – Union Square North). The event is free and open to the public. (phone 212 253 0810)

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