The Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University will co-host a free screening of the powerful film, When I Rise, on the Huston-Tillotson campus. The date will be announced later.
When I Rise is the story of Barbara Smith Conrad, a native Texan who entered The University of Texas at Austin in 1956, the first year black undergraduates were accepted at UT. As an Opera major, Conrad was selected to lead a production of Dido and Aeneas. However, racist backlash to a black woman being cast with a white man went all the way to the Texas legislature. Soon after, the president of the University helped remove her from the cast.
The 2010 documentary is a moving tribute to the courage of one woman who found joy in art in the face of racism. When I Rise follows Conrad in her quest for recognition, equity and excellence. Through her tale, the film reveals the deep segregationist sentiment in both Texas and the world of classical music.
The Briscoe Center is grateful for Huston-Tillotson for hosting and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for their work on the program.