Campus News

One-woman play to be presented Feb. 22

Brenda Bynum Lillian Smith-v
Brenda Bynum

Jordan is So Chilly: An Encounter with Lillian Smith, a one-woman play drawn largely from unpublished autobiographical writings by the author, will be presented by Atlanta actress and playwright Brenda Bynum Feb. 22 at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

The play will begin at 6 p.m. in the auditorium (Room 271) of the special collections libraries. A reception will follow.

The event is being co-sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council and Piedmont College.  The performance is open free to the public. 

The name of an African-American spiritual, Jordan is So Chilly was Smith’s original title for Strange Fruit, her best-selling novel about the horrors of lynching. This year marks the 70th anniversary of its publication. 

“The title calls up for me the image of the difficult times faced by anyone in crossing over to the ‘promised land,’” Bynum said. “Lillian Smith faced so many trials and tribulations in her life and her work; it seemed quite appropriate to me.”

Smith championed social justice, drawing fame and renunciation, long before the civil rights movement took shape. 

Housed in the UGA special collections libraries, the Hargrett Library holds Smith’s personal papers which are available for research.