Fri, Feb. 26  |  6:00 p.m. (PST)

From Tragedy to Triumph Part I:

"The Middle Passage: Between Home and Death"

Illustrated hands clasping over an image of the ocean

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Watch previously-aired events in the series archive.

About the Event

“Let me tell you about this middle space - somewhere between home and death.” From Tragedy to Triumph presents an evening of conversation and art about the Middle Passage (approx. 1525-1866) and the melding of the past and the present, the reality of dehumanization and evil, and the sounds and smells that are inseparable from the soul during this journey. The first in a seven-part series will tell the story of this time in history through discussion, spoken word, narration, dance, and music featuring traditional Sinte drumming. The event will close with a Q&A session with the artists and performers led by USC Thornton professor Ron McCurdy.


RSVP to attend the event on Zoom and participate in the discussion and live Q&A. Viewers can watch the livestream of the event at without RSVP. 


Closed captioning will be available in the webinar.



Grace Miedziak

Ben Webster



Linda Diaz

Adam Karelin



Nana Adwoa Frimpong

Awo Jama


Professor Anindo (Sarah) Marshall

Ceaira Thomas


Nana Adwoa Frimpong

Ceaira Thomas


Music Researcher

James Delorey


Faculty Mentors

Dr. Bruce Brown

Dr. Francille Wilson

Dr. Frank Ticheli

Professor Anindo (Sarah) Marshall

Reading List

Curated by the creative team, the following books, articles, film and television resources offer a starting point to learn more about the history and key themes featured in this event.

“The Language You Cry In: Story of a Mende Song and Homecoming: The Chronicle of the Black Farmer"

Media review by Jane Collings

The "Middle Passage": The Enforced Migration of Africans Across the Atlantic

By Paul E. Lovejoy

"Life Aboard a Slave Ship"

By the History Channel

Watch >

"The 1619 Project"

By Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times

Learn more >

From Tragedy to Triumph is an interactive student-led series about the African diaspora told through discussion with film, dance and music. Organized by USC Thornton professor Ron McCurdy, each event is produced in creative collaboration between student and faculty composers, dancers, filmmakers, musicians and writers from across the university. Learn more >