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Duke Arts Presents

Panel Discussion: Songs in Flight

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 | 6:00 pm

Hayti Heritage Center

6–7 PM


Shawn Okpebholo, composer
Ed Baptist, historian/archivist (Cornell)
Crystal Simone Smith, poet (Duke University)

Moderated by

Tsitsi Ella Jaji, poet & text curator (Duke)

In this public panel, the creative team behind ‘Songs in Flight’ will discuss the historical sources and process behind the new work: an operatic song cycle built around “runaway  ads” from early United States Newspapers, and the lives and stories of resistance of enslaved people to which they remain a testament.

The panel will be followed by a catered reception in the lobby from 7-8:30 p.m. Food will be provided by The Palace International.


Learn more about the Songs in Flight performance on Wednesday, April 3 here.


This event is supported by the English, Music and African & American Studies departments at Duke University, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Office for Faculty Advancement Racial Inequality.