Ladies and gentlemen: This is the Open Door Theatre in Yekepa, Nimba County, Liberia. This was where the first play I wrote, directed, and produced entitled "Kekula" was staged forty-one years ago in 1974. Those days not that many Indigenous Liberians were married to Americo-Liberians and Congors as there are nowadays due to class segregation in Liberia between Indigenous Liberians and the ruling Americo-Liberian class.
The theme of the play was "National Integration", the merger of Indigenous and Settler Liberians as one family in support of President William V. S. Tubman's Integration and Unification Policy. In the play a Kpelle boy named Kekula who was reared by an Americo-Liberian family in an Americo-Liberian settlement (Careysburg) married the daughter of his adopted parents named Sussie Davies and they had children who became the core lineage of Liberia sociologically in that Kekula and Sussie's children automatically had both Indigenous and Americo-Liberian relatives that binds us (all sects of Liberians) as one people.
Today thousands of Liberians (including my own children and grandchildren) are members of the core lineage of Liberia. They are related to both Indigenous and Americo-Liberians, and so are thousands of other Liberian children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Therefore, it is my ardent request and plea to all Liberians, including the President of Liberia, and members of the Legislature, that the Open Door Theatre be preserved as a National Treasure because it symbolizes the strength of our union as a nation and people and as civilized beings who embrace all peoples of the universe through our Open Door Policy.
Further, the Open Door Theatre marks the genesis of my career as a national and international playwright, theatre director, actor, and producer and served as a venue of the genesis of a new trend of thought and conversation, a new awakening and cultural renaissance in Liberia that through marriage we could bridge our political and ethnic divide and live as one family and people in Liberia.
Thanks to Mr. Benedict "Blackie" Sayeh for sharing this photo with us which has indeed engendered this worthwhile conversation that affirms our bond of national unity through the sacred process of matrimony.
In the Kpelle language we say: "Koo-ka-lay, Koo-ka-tonon": "We are one"!
Blessings and peace to all peace-loving Liberians!
Rabbi Joe Gbaba, Sr., Ed. D.
11 June, 2015