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'OURstory: The Black History Musical Experience' set to premiere in Sacramento

The show will then head out to 13 different cities in California and will include both field trip and general audience performances

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An exciting new musical is coming to Sacramento just in time to celebrate Black History Month.

“OURstory: The Black History Musical Experience” is a hip-hop musical dedicated to telling the stories of history not often heard in schools.

“There are moments in this show that are going to blow your mind,” said School Yard Rap CEO Brandon Brown. "It's a spectacle of Black History is what it is. It's beyond just the segregation and slavery we learn in schools and is really teaching us more about our story."

That means American and World history, covering periods of pre-colonialization to the 1930s. It teaches about various people and topics, including Queen Amina, Buffalo soldiers and the Harlem Renaissance.

It all started when Brown was inspired to shake up his teaching style a few years ago – a student challenged him to rap one of his American history lessons.

"I went home and I made a song about the Stamp Act and the Quartering Act because that was what we were teaching, and the kids loved it. That's how I started rapping and got progressively better and better and use my own beats and that's what sparked School Yard Rap,” said Brown.

School Yard Rap is a series of historical and multicultural online videos he created to make learning fun through music for all types of learners.

As a graduate of UC Davis and former middle school history and English/Language Arts teacher, he says there were some gaps in the traditional curriculum that needed to be filled.

"I always start from a place of 'What aren't we taught?' and then who does that adversely affect. If the kids don't see the representation of themselves, how can they truly know they can be a scientist, engineer, mathematician,” said Brown.

It’s appropriate for all ages. In fact, each stop on OURstory’s 13-city California tour includes school field trips, performances tailored specifically to students of all backgrounds. The show is professionally choreographed and features 25 cast members, including Brown singing, rapping, and doing monologues.

"This isn't Critical Race Theory. This is just an amazing experience, a fun history, that will engage all students,” he said. "It'll leave people laughing, happy, sad sometimes, but overall uplifted and feeling really celebrated in their culture and the culture of others."

OURstory is appropriate for all ages and everyone is welcome. The public premiere will be 7 p.m. Tuesday at SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center in downtown Sacramento.

You can find tickets to the Sacramento show as well as the rest of the tour stops here.

You can learn more about School Yard Rap here.

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