By Afton Wooten
Toledo Opera along with the African American Police League, Toledo Police Museum, WGTE Public Media, and the Lucas County Public Library join forces to promote the upcoming run of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s new opera, “Blue.”
“Blue” follows the realities of a Black family in Harlem who navigate the father being a police officer as their son grows up in modern-day America.
To solidify the impact of this piece a series of community events will take place on August 18. Beginning at 9 a.m. at the Mott Branch Library, WGTE will broadcast live interviews. Following the interviews will be a poetry presentation of “Tainted Badge” by Jhané Perdue accompanied by Kevin Bylsma, performances by the cast of “Blue,” and a screening of the documentary film “Blue: Stories from Toledo.”
Later in the day, at 7 p.m., a reception will be held at the Toledo Police Museum. This program includes a history of the African American Police League (AAPL) as well as presentations, clips from the “Blue” documentary, and a performance of “Tainted Blue” from the opera.
APPL President and Retired Toledo Police Sergeant, Anita Madison says in a press release, “the African American Police League is so excited about the impact our projects and this partnership will have on our community. Our goal is to bring awareness to our organization and our efforts to recruit more black officers in our community.”
Sponsors for this event include the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge Grant, AAPL, and the Oral History Project Recruitment and Mentoring Programs.