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Play refreshes Black History Month memories
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‘Do You Remember When ... Newtown Back in the Day!’
What: A play exploring the important people and sites of Gainesville’s black community
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Monique’s Banquet Hall, 996 Athens Highway, Gainesville
How much: $10
Contact: Newtown Florist Club, 770-718-1343

Tonight, the Newtown Florist Club will reprise its popular play “Do You Remember When ... Newton Back in the Day!”

The play, written for Black History Month, explores the historical sites and important people in Gainesville’s black community.

“We tried to get information people didn’t know before,” said Andre Cheek, who wrote the script. “We did interviews with family members to make sure we had accurate information.”

Many of the actors even share names with their characters, Cheek said. That is no coincidence — a number of the characters are played by their grandchildren.

Cheek said she focused on the businesses that occupied Athens Street during the 1940s and 1950s.

“It was one of the most lively areas for the African-American community,” Cheek said. “We started thinking, who were some of the people in the community who made an impact?”

Some of the businesses in the play include Maxey’s Cafe, The Roxy Theatre and Carter’s Shoe Service.

The play also includes monumental moments in national history.

“We have some school kids acting out the part where they bombed the church in Alabama,” said Faye Bush, executive director of the Newtown Florist Club. “The last scene they’re acting out — President Obama and Michelle and their little girls.”