Mélisande Short-Colomb performs in Here I Am.
Mélisande Short-Colomb performs in Here I Am. Credit: The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics

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Here I Am

You may have heard of Mélisande Short-Colomb: She made national headlines when she enrolled at Georgetown as a freshman in 2017 at the age of 63, when she moved from her home in New Orleans to attend the school that profited off the sale of her enslaved ancestors in 1838. In her time at Georgetown, she’s been involved in advocacy around the GU272, as the people who were sold are known, including championing a student referendum for a semesterly fee to benefit descendants and a leadership role in the GU272 Descendants Association. Her newest project is the play Here I Am, which she wrote and performs in; it premieres this week in conjunction with Emancipation Day. The play’s virtual showings are a partnership between the university’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and its theater and performance department. Here I Am threads together images, music, and narration to explore Short-Colomb’s relationship with Georgetown and Georgetown’s culpabilities and responsibilities. “Our ancestors have waited patiently through centuries for us to come to the table of acknowledgement,” Short-Colomb says in a press release. “Here I Am fulfills my desire to give voice to those families, including my own, and to our tenacity and strength as a people—to close the full circle where we began our American lives three centuries ago and where we are today.” The performance begins at 5:30 p.m. on April 15, 7:30 p.m. on April 16, and 3 p.m. on April 17. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com. Free.