The Ensemble: “Freeda Peoples”

By T.J. Baker

HOUSTON – I’m embarrassed to say, that it’s been a few years since I’ve been to an Ensemble theater play.  I’ve had plenty of opportunities to go, but didn’t.  Well, when you run out of good lazy excuses, the only thing to do is to get your booty up and just go. I’m glad that I did, especially seeing this performance “Freeda Peoples.” Since there wasn’t a brief synopsis in the program booklet, that meant you had to pay attention or you’ll be trying to catch up on what’s going on in the middle of the play.  I’m not going to be a spoiler, but I didn’t see it coming, the extra homophobia issues within the church.   It’s okay to accept homosexuality, but sometimes we can’t handle it when the pressure is too close to home, or should I say, too close to certain church members, who think homosexuality has no place and no rights in the church… unless it’s the music choir director or the organ/pianist player.

“Freeda Peoples” also had other grave issues going on within this particular church. I’m telling you it definitely will keep you hopping and twisting in your seat, because when you think you have solved the mystery, the storyline turns into a completely new direction, leaving you at awe over and over.   “Freeda Peoples” was written by Joyce Sylvester and directed by Eileen J. Morris. Both ladies have very impressive theatrical portfolios.

I’d like to add that every character pulled it off and kept the suspicion going one after another.  However, I want to give a special shout out to {Deacon Beasley} played by Byron Jacquet, who I love to see in action since I was a young adult at TSU.   Every cynical character Byron plays is orchestrated and comes with a message in every scenario he gives. Yet it comes with lots of surprises and keeps the play flowing from the beginning to the end.

Also, if you’re not a dedicated sponsor or supporter, then you should be. Just like African American News and Issues need to be in your place of business; because your clients or customers need to read “real news” instead of “fake news”.  But for those who have African American News and Issues at your business location, we thank you very much!

Photo Credit:  David Bray

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

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