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What happens when you mix a world class author’s literary exploration of his African-American heritage with explosions of rap music and hip hop dance? In the rhythmic, spellbinding vernacular of the streets, John Edgar Wideman’s characters articulate the human impact of race, politics, violence, sex, love and loss. Brilliant film, television and Broadway actors brought Wideman’s words to life and Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids produced his original tracks live with with special guest, djembe drummer Aboubacar Kouyate, and dancers from Culture Shock LA populating this dynamic cityscape. All the artists donated their work for this one-night-only benefit performance.


  • Sterling K Brown (Army Wives, Righteous Kill)
  • Bill Cobbs (Go On, Night at the Museum)
  • Keith David (Crash, The Princess and the Frog, Coraline)
  • Omar Dorsey (Django Unchained, The Blind Side)
  • Gary Dourdan (CSI, Alien: Resurrection)
  • Edi Gathegi (X-Men, Gone Baby Gone, Twilight)
  • Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy, Barbershop)
  • Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons, 227)
  • Roger Guenveur Smith (American Gangster, Final Destination)
  • Dennis Haysbert (The Unit, 24)
  • Barry Shabaka Henley (The Big Year, FlashForward)
  • Michael Jace (The Shield, Forrest Gump)
  • Brent Jennings (Moneyball, Witness)
  • Kasha Kropinski (Hell on Wheels, Almost Kings)
  • Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck, The Pursuit of Happyness)
  • Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Coriolanus at The Globe in London)
  • Nicki Micheaux (Lincoln Heights, Their Eyes Were Watching God)
  • Ryan Michelle Bathe (Army Wives, One for the Money)
  • Dorian Missick (Southland, Lucky Number Sleven)
  • Geno Monteiro (Hot Spur in H4)
  • Dohn Norwood (Hell on Wheels)
  • Nyambi Nyambi (Mike & Molly, Day Night Day Night)
  • Dayo Okeniyi (The Hunger Games, The Spectacular Now)
  • James Pickens Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy, The X-Files)
  • Chip tha Ripper (whose most recent album is Charles Worth)
  • Ron Simons (Night Catches Us, Law and Order)
  • Sterling Sulieman (Pretty Little Liars, In Time))
  • Tracie Thoms (The Devil Wears Prada, Rent)
  • Lorraine Toussaint (Saving Grace, The Soloist)
  • Aboubacar Kouyate ( Bronx-Barbès)
  • Narration by Dave Fennoy, the voice of Hulu
Produced and directed by Cedering Fox.
About the Author:
John Edgar Wideman is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including the award-winning Brothers and Keepers, Philadelphia Fire, and most recently the novel Fanon. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius grant, two PEN/Faulkner awards, and has been nominated for the National Book Award. Wideman lives in Manhattan and teaches at Brown University.
Culture Shock LA is a non-profit dance troupe that aims to use urban dance forms to engage traditionally underserved populations in the arts, and to present these forms with the same dedication and artistry given to classical dance styles. We promote the positive attributes of the Hip-Hop culture by teaching self-worth, dignity and respect through training in the visual and performing arts. http://cultureshockla.org/
Storytales contained mature content.