Half a century ago, as Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington and Freedom Riders tested the desegregation of interstate buses, students at a Detroit high school stood up for their rights, and won. Finding the facilities and education at their school inferior to what was available at predominately white schools, they staged a walk-out, and refused to come back to their school until their demands were met. A new play called “Northern Lights 1966” tells their story. Starring a cast of high school students, it’s being staged by Detroit’s Mosaic Youth Theatre through this weekend.
Michael Dinwiddie is the playwright, who also teaches courses on dramatizing history at NYU. Charles Hurt, a sophomore at Cass Technical High School in Detroit stars as Chuck, the student who launches the walk-out in “Northern Lights 1966.”