I consider this one of the most important books of the last 20 years. It takes the core of what we define as humanity and love against a justice system that may not have room for either sentiment. Jefferson is unforgettable and remains with me as a standard for compassion and understanding. You must read this.— Roxanne
Based on Ernest J. Gaines' National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel, Romulus Linney's A Lesson Before Dying is set in a small Louisiana Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young illiterate black man, is falsely convicted of murder and is sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, the plantation schoolteacher, agrees to talk with the condemned man. The disheartened Wiggins had once harbored dreams of escaping from his impoverished youth, yet he returned to his home town after university, to teach children whose lives seemed as unpromising as Jefferson's. The two men forge a bond as they come to understand what it means to resist and defy one's own fate.
An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:
Rick Foucheux as Paul Bonin
Keith Glover as Grant Wiggins
Jamahl Marsh as Jefferson
Linda Powell as Vivian Baptiste
Jefferson A. Russell as Reverend Moses Ambrose
Jerry Whiddon as Sam Guidry
Beatrice Winde as Emma Glenn
Directed by Nick Olcott. Recorded at Voice of America in Washington D.C.