The Hyers' Sisters Dream and Legacy
In the 1870s, when minstrels in black-face ridiculed African-Americans across the land, the Hyers Sisters, products of California civil-rights communities, were the first female African-American touring-opera stars. At the height of their operatic acclaim, The Hyers decided to stand up for the dignity of their people, left their dream of operatic stardom and created the American musical theater. With their musicals focused on Black dignity and quests for freedom, they toured to audiences across the country. The Hyers Sisters have remained unsung -- until now.
Denyce Graves, Akiba Howard, WolfHawkJaguar, Shawnette Sulker, Hope Briggs, Susheel Bibbs, Tichina Vaughn, Omari Tau, Robert Sims
Acclaimed singer/actress/filmmaker Bibbs, a national Emmy winner and once the youngest Executive Producer in the PBS system for a major series, has recently won 17 international, documentary-film awards and two Tellys. Her films screen internationally on PBS.