07-02-2022  10:21 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Eugene Woman Attacked With Acid for Third Time Since March

A Eugene, Oregon, woman who had acid thrown on her while walking her dog in March has been the target of two additional acid attacks at her home

Minimum Wage Increase Initiative Qualifies in WA City

An initiative to increase the minimum hourly wage in Tukwila, Washington, by more than has qualified for the November ballot.

Sydney McLaughlin Does It Again, Breaks Own World Record

When asked how she was going to celebrated afterward, McLaughlin joked: “Eating some real food besides vegetables. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”

Inslee Seeks Abortion Rights Amendment to State Constitution

Gov. Jay Inslee will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within the state, and laws that make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care.

NEWS BRIEFS

On View This Weekend: Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt

A History Spotlight from Boyle Family Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk ...

State Continues Paying Out Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program Applications to Renters and Landlords Across Oregon

More than 60,000 Oregon households facing pandemic hardship receive over 6 million in rental assistance relief ...

KGW and TEGNA Foundation Award $40k in Community Grants to Aid Four Oregon Nonprofit Organizations

Among the grant recipients are Urban Nature Partners PDX, Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI), Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), and p:ear. ...

Hawthorne, Morrison Bridges Will Close to Motorized Vehicles for July 4 Fireworks Show

The bridges will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. ...

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

US testing new fire retardant, critics push other methods

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials are testing a new wildfire retardant after two decades of buying millions of gallons annually from one supplier, but watchdogs say the expensive strategy is overly fixated on aerial attacks at the expense of hiring more fire-line digging ground crews. ...

Acres of Whidbey Island farmland, forest, beach, preserved

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Staff at the Whidbey Camano Land Trust in Washington state knew they had to act quickly when a 226-acre (91-hectare) beachfront property south of Coupeville came on the market last December. From the water, boaters may have seen the red house, old windmill, and...

OPINION

Choice Without Shackles

The constitutional originalists do what they must to keep ignorance viable, to keep us anchored to the certainties of the old days ...

Biden’s Menthol Ban Follows the ‘Racist Law’ Playbook

The ban on menthol threatens to do more harm than good for the Black people these activists purport to want to protect ...

Black Women Will Suffer the Harshest Consequences After the Overturn of Roe

Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women and are more likely to face maternal health issues. ...

Justice Clarence Thomas and the Conservative Supreme Court Have Fanned the Flames of Racism in America

Former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again cry proved an easy between-the-lines moniker, but even that stood as a dog whistle – until now. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

NY overhauls handgun rules in effort to preserve some limits

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers approved a sweeping overhaul Friday of the state’s handgun licensing rules, seeking to preserve some limits on firearms after the Supreme Court ruled that most people have a right to carry a handgun for personal protection. The measure,...

Judge: Arizona violates prisoners’ rights with poor care

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge ruled Arizona has been violating the constitutional rights of incarcerated people in state-run prisons by providing them with inadequate medical and mental health care, saying the state has known about the problem for years but refused to correct its failures. ...

Thousands protest migrant deaths at Spain-Morocco border

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Thousands of people in several Spanish cities protested Friday over the deaths of at least 23 migrants last week at the frontier between the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Africa and Morocco, amid growing calls for an independent, cross-border investigation. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sonny Barger, figurehead of Hells Angels, dies at 83

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Barger, the leather-clad fixture of 1960s counterculture and figurehead of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who was at the notorious Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, has died. He was 83. Barger's death was announced on his Facebook page...

Review: Austen-era schemes, dreams fill 'Mr. Malcolm's List'

“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” goes one of the more famous opening lines in English literature, “that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” That’s Jane Austen, beginning her 1813 “Pride and Prejudice.” Austen herself has...

Review: Imagine Dragons offer light at the end of the tunnel

“Mercury — Act 2,” Imagine Dragons (Interscope) If you were hiding under your bed after listening to the last album by Imagine Dragons, it's time to come out. The second volume of “Mercury” is upbeat, often Caribbean-spiced and throbbing. It's the sound of a band getting its...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

AP PHOTOS: The 1st week at the Wimbledon tennis tournament

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — There were players who weren’t allowed to enter Wimbledon this year because of the...

Texas Supreme Court blocks order that resumed abortions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court blocked a lower court order late Friday night that said clinics...

Pride parade returns in London on 50th anniversary

LONDON (AP) — The streets of London were filled with color on Saturday as the U.K. capital marked 50 years of...

Pope appoints first cardinal from Amazon rainforest

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — When the Archbishop of the Brazilian city of Manaus Leonardo Steiner kneels before Pope...

Pride parade returns in London on 50th anniversary

LONDON (AP) — The streets of London were filled with color on Saturday as the U.K. capital marked 50 years of...

In a small village, prayers and hope for missing migrants

SAN MARCOS ATEXQUILAPAN, Mexico (AP) — Clutching rosaries, residents of this mountain village stared at...

Actors on stage in "Black Nativity"
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News

It isn’t often when actors for a Christmas-themed play describe a rehearsal as “having church.” But there’s not much that is typical about the limited run of Black Nativity, a soul-stirring, foot-tapping, Gospel-singing good time, based on a musical written by Harlem Renaissance poet and playwright Langston Hughes.

“This is a piece of heaven right here,” said Richard Greer, 59, who said he has been singing since he was a teenager. “It’s the actual grassroots part of where the black spiritual music really comes from. The actual essence of what it is.”

During its two-weekend run, which opened Dec. 11, the play uses a cultural lens to retell the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ, using scripture, interpretive dance, and lots of singing. Unlike most theatrical productions, the musical:

  • Will be performed in a small church on Mallory Avenue.
  • Features a cast of 10 singers, only three of whom are experienced actors.
  • Highlights choir members from predominantly black churches in Portland.

“When it comes to gospel and spirituals, that’s something inherited from our ancestors,” said Jerry Foster, who directs the play. “It’s a cultural thing.”

Black Nativity is produced by PassinArt: A Theatre Company, the longest-running black theater company in Portland. When Foster was trying to cast the play, he reached out to musicians he knew at three churches: Highland Christian Center, Emmanuel Temple Full Gospel Pentecostal Church and St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church.

“You can teach someone who can sing to act, but you can’t teach an actor to sing,” Foster explained. “That’s a big difference.”

Tanetta Martin, 46, said she was asked to participate in Black Nativity by her church’s musical director, who also brought along a few additional members of the church’s praise team.

“I’ve been singing all my life,” said Martin, whose only previous theatrical experience was a small part in a church play. “I don’t consider myself a professional. I’m a worshipper.”

At a recent rehearsal, performers straggled in from other church-based rehearsals and singing commitments. Greer warmed up by singing as he paced the sidewalk outside the church. Inside, Foster was anxious to begin. He had emailed each of the singers the words to a new song and it was time to see how they sounded.

“Do you know the rhythm,” Foster asked. “Let’s get up and let’s work.”

He was promptly corrected by Martin, who advised: “Let’s pray.”

The cast of the holiday musical stood among the pews and held hands as Greer offered a stirring prayer that acknowledged those who were there and asked for safe travel for those who were still on their way to rehearsal.

“I started to pass the collection plate,” Foster joked, afterward.

A vocal teacher from Emmanuel Temple, CJ Wells, then promptly led the group in the new song. “Right there,” he demanded, demonstrating the right chord. “Rise up, shepherd and follow. It’s high, not low.”

Soloist Tracey Jenkins, 40, says the songs in the play remind her of “old time religion. These are the songs that really touched people’s souls and they gave God praise and they trusted him, no matter what they were going through.”

This year’s production is the fourth time in 20 years that PassinArt has offered Black Nativity as part of its season. From now on, the company would like to mount it as an annual holiday tradition, as it is done in other cities, such as Boston, Atlanta and Seattle.  Foster noted that audience members of all walks of life, whether of faith or not will, enjoy this performance. “It’s a play for everybody because the basic foundation is the music.”

This is the final weekend of the play’s run. On Dec. 18 and 19 the play runs at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday it starts at 3 p.m. All performances are at the Greater St. Stephens Missionary Baptist Church, 3605 NE Mallory Ave.

Admission is $20 in advance; $25 at the door. The group rate ticket is $15 per ticket for purchases of 10 or more tickets. There is no charge charge for children 5 and under, and the charge for children up to age 12 is $5 at the door.

Tickets are available online at www.passinart.net or through JP’s Custom Picture Framing & Gallery, 418 NE Killingsworth, (503) 288-2118, or Elevated Coffee, 5261 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., (971) 255-1296.

Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

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