Cross-Examined: A Play about the Mothers Who Fought Segregation in Iowa Schools

This event is part of the Co-Sponsorships Program: "Cross-Examined" performance and reception.
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Event Location: 
Old Capitol Museum
Senate Chambers
Iowa City, IA 52242
poster of event with silhouette of strong woman on cover

Cross-Examined, a short play by Margot Connelly based on the research of Leslie A. Schwalm, tells the story of the mothers who fought segregation in Iowa schools in 1874. This performance celebrates Professors Lena and Michael Hill for their many contributions to the University of Iowa community.

A reception will follow the performance. 

About the Play
In 1874, two African American mothers took to the courts to challenge school segregation in Keokuk, Iowa. Their efforts were part of a national struggle to expand the meaning of freedom after the Civil War.  Although Reconstruction-era constitutional amendments and federal legislation extended the franchise and civil rights to African Americans, northern states, including Iowa, were slow to offer the full enjoyment of those rights to their black citizens. “Cross- Examined” explores the experience of Charlotta Smith, a former slave, and Mary Jane Dove, the wife of a respected minister, both determined to end the exclusion of black children from Keokuk’s public schools.

The Team
Playwright: Margot Connolly
Historical Consultant: Leslie A. Schwalm
Company Members: Tempestt Farrar, Emelia Asiedu, William Goblirsch, Greg Delany Walker

Sponsored by the Obermann Center; the Departments of English, History, Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies, Theatre Arts, and African American Studies; and Arts Share