Kentucky Chautauqua: Debra Faulk as Nancy Green

We were thrilled to welcome Kentucky Chautauqua performer Debra Faulk on March 2nd for her portrayal of Kentuckian Nancy Green!

In Nancy Green: Being "Aunt Jemima," the Pancake Queen, Faulk conveys the legacy of this historic Black icon with humor, wit, and deep feeling. Green's is a story rooted in tragedy—she was born a slave in Mount Sterling, and in her rise to wealth and independence was rarely given the credit she or her family deserved for her success as one of the first brand "faces" who changed American marketing. However, it's also a tale of determination and power, as Green leveraged her employer's dependence upon (and the public's reaction to) a racist stereotype into a financial freedom rarely enjoyed by women at the time, let alone Black women. Her wealth went back into the communities she loved, used to build everything from churches to anti-poverty programs for her fellow Black Americans. Green was also a staunch advocate for equal rights.

We could hardly have wished for a better performance! Faulk had patrons in the palm of her hand as she brought Nancy Green back to life, drawing open laughter, more than a few tears, and well-deserved applause from her audience. Check out the photos here, and see even more on our Facebook and Instagram!

This program was funded in part by the Kentucky Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more about Kentucky's Chautauqua performances, check out the Kentucky Humanities website here!

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