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In Elm Park, 1955, Ann Arbor based storyteller La’Ron Williams combines an adult's analysis and wisdom with the fully believable wonderment, confusion, and fear he felt as a child growing up on the south side of Flint, Michigan in the midst of social upheaval.  Listeners of every color and background are drawn into his story precisely because it is suffused with a child's sincerity and genuine bafflement that the reality he lived didn't match the stories he was taught about his country – or himself – on TV, at school, and in the society at large.

The storytelling event takes place on Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 PM at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., in Ann Arbor.  This event is for an adult audience.


Offered as part of the Understanding Race Project [http://www.UnderstandingRaceProject.org], La’Ron describes the effects of race on the lives of several people living in the working class neighborhood where he grew up. It is a true story about a real place during a real span of time.


This story offers a powerful, non-threatening means to approach the examination of structural racism and unconscious bias. With his storyteller’s sensibility, Williams is able to enliven and personalize complex issues, and to encourage his listeners to think deeply about their own socialization process. 


La'Ron Williams is a nationally acclaimed, award-winning storyteller who has toured extensively presenting performances and workshops. His highly participatory, music-spiced programs present a dynamic blend of original and traditional tales crafted to help promote peaceful conflict resolution, foster cooperation, reveal invisible bias, encourage community, build self-esteem, and deepen our historical understanding of the ideal of American democratic inclusion.


La’Ron is a member of the National Storytelling Network, the Detroit Association of Black Storytellers, and the National Association of Black Storytellers. He is a past recipient of a countywide “Annie Award” for Artistic excellence, and has been recognized by the Ann Arbor African-American community as one of their “Kwanzaa Flames”.


This event is co-sponsored by the U-M Understanding Race Theme Semester, Michigan Theater, and U-M Museum of Natural History.


For more information, contact Amy Harris at aharris@umich.edu or (734) 763-4191 or Amanda Bynum at abynum@michtheater.org.


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