The Saint John Theatre Company's first ever artist-in-residence says he's looking forward to presenting the stories of several Black Saint John residents to the city.
The series of vignettes is scheduled to be performed next February to mark Black History Month in the city.
Clyde Wray, a Saint John poet and playwright, said the vignettes will tell the story of several successful Black Saint Johners from the past, people whose stories have been largely forgotten.
"They're going to come back and tell you their story," said Wray.
The idea for the vignettes was originally conceived around conversations about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Wray said the company had originally wanted to tackle the topic within the structure of a more traditional play, but he thought a series of vignettes would serve the stories better.
Stories to stay secret, for now
As for what those stories are about, Wray is keeping mum.
"I'm not going to tell you who they are because, you know, people have a tendency to go look things up," said Wray.
But he did have some clues: restaurants, ice and track and field. And from those clues it's not hard to guess who some of the people might be, such as Eldridge (Gus) Eatman, a New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame inductee who was a well known sprinter at the turn of the last century.
Wray said as a history lover, he's excited to tell stories from the past and has tapped into the province's Black History Society to help research these stories.
In addition to the performances, the theatre company has commissioned a local artist, Daniel Leek, to create murals of those portrayed in the vignettes.
Wray said he hopes viewers will leave the performances having learned something.
"I just want to bring these folks to light."
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.