Conference Keynote Performance: Free Land: A Hip Hop Journey from the Streets of Oakland to the Wild Wild West

Ariel Luckey

Abstract


Free Land is a dynamic hip hop theater solo show written and performed by Ariel Luckey, directed by Margo Hall and scored by Ryan Luckey. The show follows a young white man’s search for his roots as it takes him from the streets of Oakland to the prairies of Wyoming on an unforgettable journey into the heart of American history. During an interview with his grandfather he learns that their beloved family ranch was actually a Homestead, a free land grant from the government. Haunted by the past, he’s compelled to dig deeper into the history of the land, only to come face to face with the legacy of theft and genocide in the Wild Wild West. Caught between the romantic cowboy tales of his childhood and the devastating reality of what he learns, he grapples with the contradictions in his own life and the possibility for justice and reconciliation. Free Land weaves spoken word poetry, acting, dance and hip hop music into a compelling performance that challenges us to take an unflinching look at the truth buried in the land beneath our feet.


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