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#undergroundrailroad #fugitive #clarissadavis #escape #masquerading #disguisedasaman



Clarissa Davis

From The Underground Railroad by William Still:
"Like many others, under the crushing weight of oppression, she thought she "should have to die" ere she tasted liberty. In this state of mind, one day, word was conveyed to her that the steamship, City of Richmond, had arrived from Philadelphia, and that the steward on board (with whom she was acquainted), had consented to secrete her this trip, if she could manage to reach the ship safely, which was to start the next day. This news to Clarissa was both cheering and painful. She had been "praying all the time while waiting," but now she felt "that if it would only rain right hard the next morning about three o'clock, to drive the police officers off the street, then she could safely make her way to the boat." Therefore she prayed anxiously all that day that it would rain, "but no sign of rain appeared till towards midnight." The prospect looked horribly discouraging; but she prayed on, and at the appointed hour (three o'clock—before day), the rain descended in torrents. Dressed in male attire, Clarissa left the miserable coop where she had been almost without light or air for two and a half months, and unmolested, reached the boat safely, and was secreted in a box by Wm. Bagnal, a clever young man who sincerely sympathized with the slave, having a wife in slavery himself; and by him she was safely delivered into the hands of the Vigilance Committee."



China Pharr



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China Pharr (she/her) hails from the LBC and got her start performing in street-dancing turf wars and local talent shows. She attended Long Beach Renaissance High School for the Performing Arts (Class of 2008). Moving to NYC in 2016, after 5 years in Oakland where she was a part of BLM Bay Area, she began working as an erotic and burlesque dancer performing in NYC’s hottest night clubs. Her first theatrical role was Sheep in A Barn Play (UP Theatre Company - Spring 2020, performances canceled). She’s currently devising cute things with The Anthropologists for No Pants in Tucson, and at Stella Adler’s Day Conservatory (Class of 2023). Drawing from blood memory and hood wisdom, China is interested in fusing and bending disciplines and genders to bring unknown experiences into the contemporary mainstream, particularly around Black women and sexuality.


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Performed, filmed & edited by China Pharr.

Original music by China Pharr.

Conceived with and scripted from historical documents by Melissa Moschitto.

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