[embed-1] This Easter weekend, April 10-12, Charleston Stage streams The Seat of Justice, recorded and performed in front of a live audience in March 2016. The play, written by Charleston Stage founder Julian Wiles, tells the true story of South Carolina and Charleston's important role in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling.
You can stream the play online using Vimeo. Charleston Stage's handy landing page also features more information about the play and the history behind it.
The play tells the story of the citizens of rural Clarendon County and their leader, the Rev. Joseph DeLaine and Judge Waties Waring, the legendary federal jurist from Charleston that advanced the legal fight for desegregation in schools. Wiles insists that it wasn't the lawyers and judges, though, who "set the wheels of justice in motion." Rather it was the mothers and fathers, those tenant farmers and schoolteachers, who worked for equality for their kids.
In a press release Wiles says, "This is a story that needs to be told and retold. Too many people are unaware of South Carolina's pivotal role in these landmark cases and the story of the brave individuals who fought for freedom and justice in the 1940s and 50s, really the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement. These brave individuals, through the cases of Pearson v. Elliott, Briggs vs. Elliott, literally changed the world — all because a group of ordinary parents stood up and demanded a better world for their children."