This Black History Month, We Are Celebrating By Revisiting The Story Of John Henry With Vanguard Performance Coach And Storyteller, Wayne Harris

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This Black History Month, we are celebrating by revisiting the story of John Henry with Vanguard performance coach and storyteller, Wayne Harris!

A freedman during the Reconstruction Era, post Civil War, John Henry was a railroad steel driver and, as legend has it, could outwork any machine. He became a heroic symbol for African Americans, as well as the working class, whose story inspired songs, books and film.

In 2012, the SCV Winterguard presented their show, “John Henry: A Story For Our Time.” The storyline for the show was pitched by Wayne, not sure how the rest of the design team would receive it, as it was originally intended for elementary age kids. “When I first started telling the John Henry story, I was working for Stagebridge Theatre in Oakland, CA, who specialized in providing after school programs for students in marginalized neighborhoods. My job was to work with 4th and 5th graders on the traditions of storytelling.” says Wayne, who early on realized that the students were more interested in his personal stories about growing up in St. Louis over fairytales, myths and legends. “So I decided to combine the two!”

Read the rest of the article here.

Posted by on Friday, February 11th, 2022. Filed under Current News, Winter Guard International News.