Joyce Jefferson

Topics: American Old West, Anti-racism, Black Hills, Chautuaqua, History, Literature, Native American, Poetry, South Dakota, Theater, Veterans/Military History, Women, Writing

Community: Rapid City

Program Types: Chautauqua, Pre-recorded Program Video, Speakers Bureau, Virtual Program(s) | (605) 393-2680

Programs are Chautauqua performances. “Dakota Daughters” and “Daddies’ Dreams” can be Chautauqua or PowerPoint.

Katherine Davis Chapman Tillman (Chautauqua)
Yankton’s prolific lyric poet and race writer was born in Mound City, Illinois in 1870. Katherine Chapman moved to Yankton as a child. Being very sickly, her schoolteacher mother homeschooled Kate. Enjoy Kate’s poetry as Joyce Jefferson interprets Mrs. Tillman’s work as if she were living today.

Dakota Daughters: Wounded Knee 1890, Three Women, Three Lives, Three Cultures (Chautauqua) Dakota Daughters – Lillian Witt, Geraldine Goes in Center and Joyce Jefferson – commemorated the 130-year anniversary of the December 29, 1890, Wounded Knee Massacre. Now, they look to the future of 2022 and beyond. They have made it a priority to tell this story throughout South Dakota by relaying historical information in an interesting, thought-provoking, entertaining and memorable way. They have augmented their program to include slides from their collaboration with The Journey Museum and Periaktos Productions: “Reflections on the Massacre at Wounded Knee.” The Dakota Daughters hope when people see their play, they will realize that although we all are unique – such as skin color, cultures, beliefs – deep down we are not all that different. Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ – “We are all related.”

Dakota Daughters: Daddies’ Dreams
Joyce Jefferson shares “Bayou Airman,” about father, Clarence James. She recounts a dashing, dapper young man and explores his life in the Army Air Corps, then the Air Force, his life after a 30-year career in the Air Force and retirement in Suisun City, California, near Travis Air Force Base. Dakota Daughters compare the lives of their fathers Marvin Derflinger, Clarence James, and Nathaniel Witt, who served their country and continued to lead full and interesting lives after their tours of duty. Lillian Witt, Geraldine Goes in Center, and Joyce Jefferson bring their fathers’ history to life.

Betty Blair Homesteader Extraordinaire (Chautauqua)
Learn about African American homesteaders of the Sully County Colored Colony, also known as the Blair Colony, from Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Blair’s first-hand account whose family homesteaded, scouted land and settled near Fairbank and Onida, Dakota Territory, 1882.

Sarah Campbell – She Vanquished with the Vanguard of Civilization (Chautauqua)
Also known as Aunt Sally, “Sarah Campbell” tells you in her own words about her experience with the Custer’s Black Hills Expedition of 1874, finding gold on French Creek, returning to the Black Hills in 1876 to recover her claim of the Custer Mining Company and providing much-needed services to her community. Noted as the first non-Native woman to explore the Black Hills, you will discover who really was the first white woman to come into the Black Hills.

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South Dakota Humanities Council
1215 Trail Ridge Road, Suite A
Brookings, SD 57006
(605) 688-6113