Check this out. We’ve never seen the likes of the dramatic re-enactment that will draw a potent cast of community leaders, most of them African-American, onto the stage of Santa Rosa High School’s auditorium on Feb. 26.

The story being re-told centers around Union General William Sherman’s 1865 order granting 40 acres of tillable land and a mule to some of the freed slaves in the South.

Sherman and Edward Stanton, the U.S. Secretary of War, met with 20 newly freed slaves in Savanna, Georgia, to  discuss implemention of the order. It’s that remarkable gathering that will be brought back to life in the Feb. 26 production.

Ann Gray Byrd, president of the local branch of the NAACP, wrote the stage adaption. And she former county supervisor Ernie Carpenter, the chapter’s vice president, have invited some esteemed individuals to join the cast.

Scheduled to take part are Guy Johnson, the son of Maya Angelou; Dr. Amos Brown of San Francisco’s historic Third Baptist Church; new Sonoma County Court Commissioner Anthony Wheeldin, Judge Elliot Daum, former NFL greats Jerry Robinson and Honor Jackson, and Jesse Love, a co-founder of Community Baptist Church.

I’ll be writing more about this production, a Black History Month activity of the NAACP. If you’d like to reserve a ticket, they are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Shoot an email to Ann Byrd at or to Ernie Carpenter at, or phone Ann at 578-7433.