As part of Black History Month, North Central College will feature "Deep River: A Spiritual Journey," a live musical presentation and narrative about African slaves who lived along the Mississippi River before the Civil War.
Soloist Henry Pleas, a tenor; pianist Chris Garafalo; and the Rev. Dr. Sylvia Pleas, narrator and creator of the original story, will perform.
Pleas created the story for her son Henry when he was not proud of his name or musical talents when he was a teenager.
The stoy focuses on an adult slave named Henry who had a strong baritone voice and sang spirituals at church. Henry, who had a hard life, dreamt of going to the freedom train landing across the water. Unbeknownst to him, whenever he sang the song Deep River, it acted a signal to certain slaves to escape for the freedom train landing.
CDs of "Deep River" will be available for sale the night of the performance.