‘Six Nights in the Black Belt,’ about Keene’s Jonathan Daniels

Six Nights in the Black Belt, by Lowell Williams, is an exciting new play based on the life and death of Jonathan Daniels, a local hero and native of Keene, New Hampshire. The play chronicles the events that befell the young Daniels in 1965.

The Martin Luther King, Jr./Jonathan Daniels Committee of the City of Keene is presenting the play to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. The City Council, which is supporting the staging of this play, also supports every year Keene’s annual MLK Day program.

When he was a seminary student in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Daniels answered Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to assist with voter registration in Selma, Alabama. He couldn’t have known that this journey was to be his last or the impact he would have upon those around him. Ruby Sales, Stokely Carmichael, and Judy Upham were profoundly affected by Daniels’ message of racial justice and the courage of his conviction about this. It’s through a cast of these multicultural individuals that we see Daniels as an inspiring young leader participating in the civil rights movement.

Williams’ new play, directed by Kim Dupuis, tells a deeply moving story about a young visionary, Jonathan Daniels.

Shanda Reynelli, a 2004 graduate of ANE’s counseling psychology program in the Department of Applied Psychology, plays a significant role in the play. She says, “I am glad to be a part of the collective voice promoting discussion about civil rights. It is not something that is ancient history, it’s current and still needs to be addressed.”

Gargi Roysircar, core faculty in the Department of Clinical Psychology, went to a dress rehearsal and had this to say: “Shanda gives a phenomenal and passionate performance, and is truly real about Civil Rights issues. In addition, she sings spirituals from the wings so powerfully and naturally. I am so proud to have her as an ANE alumna and as my woman of color kindred spirit.”

Days and times of performance

Friday, January 18, 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 19, 7:30 pm
Sunday, January 20, 2:00 pm

Heberton Hall (formerly the Masonic Temple)
60 Winter Street
Keene, NH 03431