Courtesy Holdredge Collection, San Francisco Library History Center, San Francisco Public Library

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NEW SITE: Susheel has a new site with photos, links, videos to her Websites and works--Click here: BIBBS WEBSITE
=Select Videos (on the left side of the page) to see all of her trailers, and check out the many links, including scheduled events.
Or paste this url into your browser -

The Hyers concert-taping Oakland, CA at First Unitarian Church (theater space) WAS A GREATSUCCESS! Our thanks to the venue.

Watch for Bibbs' film on the Hyers Sisters,VOICES FOR FREEDOM. It will contain parts of the concert.
Please help us complete this documentary by making a Tax Deductible below!
=See more under the film link or read about the concert :POST HYERS ARTICLE
=View the Hyers Trailer by clicking here -- TRAILER

Please make a tax deductible donation here to the Hyers Film/Concert project

Please Note:
=On the PayPal donation screen, remove the sample email, and type yours in the box.
=For credit card donations, use the link below the PayPal Screen if that screen appears first

=Mailing address for donor checks payable to "The Living Heritage Foundation" with a note -- "Voices for Freedom Project" -- 123 Mint Leaf Way, Sacramento, CA 95838

=You will receive CD excerpts from the concert for any donation above $100!!

Note: The Mary Ellen Pleasant email for bookings:

=Bibbs is now celebrating the Mary Pleasant bicentennial with a tour! -- Meet Pleasant in an amazing enactment by Susheel Bibbs, fully researched and presented in Pleasant's words!
Mary Pleasant actually gave three years of birth, but many are celebrating her bi-centennial this year in accordance with her 1902 biographical release, and so Bibbs' Mary Pleasant PBS film and acclaimed Chautauquas are on the move! Read about them on this site, and book yours now !!
Have presentations, will travel! See Bibbs' upcoming schedule on this site under the "Schedule" tab. As you may have heard, she's touring again with --

o One-woman Enactment: Meet Mary Pleasant --Bibbs' acclaimed live enactment (chautauqua) on Pleasant in Pleasant's own words. Landmark historical research in an inspiring form (see article below)
o Musical: O Freedom! -- her rousing and uplifting full musical! Bibbs sings and becomes Pleasant.
o Film Screenings: Meet Mary Pleasant (Mother of Civil Rights) -- The awardwinning PBS films. Bibbs can introduce and answer questions as well. (26 and 57 min versions)

Articles praise Bibbs' works on Mary Ellen Pleasant
You can book these programs via

=See the article from Sonoma News (entertainment section) in praise of Bibbs' Meet Mary Pleasant dramatic enactment (chautauqua)-- Click here: BIBBS CHAUTAUQUA ARTICLE or Copy this address into your browser:

Bibbs in a segments on Pleasant --
=The Travel Channel's MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM: Bibbs' segment on Pleasant. Now showing in repeats within Season 6: A good segment featuring Susheel Bibbs' interview for an upcoming program on Pleasant! You can see it in their archives. Watch this site for the date and time!

=KABL Radio in San Francisco. Watch for an extensive program of Mary Pleasant featuring Susheel Bibbs as interview. Check listings or return here for more details.

Get the new DVD on black classical song and the booklet on the spiritual go to the "shop" tab on this site. The DVD features internatinally acclaimed artists, historical narration, montage and interviews with composers and artists. Susheel's booklet on the Spiritual is the first booklet to use IPA and to explain dialect and cultural traditions in singing the spiritual

News from 2011-2014

Hear excerpts from Susheel's former, live concerts on YouTube:
Hear wonderful works of California, John Carter's Cantata of spirituals, Exsultae Jubilate, and more. If you remember these wonderful performances, you'll want to check this out. (1986-98). just search Susheel Bibbs, soprano on YouTube

Bibbs was in Honolulu January 10-13, June 2012 and Jan. 6-7, 2014 for the Hawaii International Conference on the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. It was a success! Watch for the new appearance in the conference on the Arts and Humanities under "Schedule."

Please make your tax-deductible gifts --

1) Support Dr. Bibbs' effort to produce a film and live concert on these inspiring artists. Offer your tax deductible gift at
=Tax Deductible donations? click the DONATE link under the "Film" tab on this site.
=Mailing address for donor checks payable to "The Living Heritage Foundation" with a note -- "Voices for Freedom Project" -- 123 Mint Leaf Way, Sacramento, CA 95838

2) Help us distribute our award-winning film Meet Mary Pleasant (Mother of Civil Rights in CA) to schools colleges and libraries--
See the film tab

A new Edition of Heritage of Power is here!!!

-Barnes and Noble will soon have a 2012 smaller-format (6x9)edition

-Order the 2011 enhanced 6x9 edition or get it via Kindle.
Both share the same basic text and are expanded & updated with new material and illustrations plus an index and larger bibliography -- it's a major revision of this important work! (the larger format: 176 pages, the 6x9 format: 188 pages -- soon to be at B&N)

Purchase the book or DVD on this site under the "Shop" tab or on Kindle or or and in Stores: New Orleans: Voodoo Authentica (612 Dumaine St.) or order from Left Bank Books, St. Louis or any Barnes and Noble. See it free at Julia Davis Branch Library, St. Louis, and libraries at Sacramento State and U.C. Berkeley.



New Fax --
NEW FAX MEP Productions has a new fax number: 916/921-5785 (Fax store PO's)

New Edition of Heritage of Power is here!!! Order now on this site -- same price, new information and index! Greatly expanded and sized to fit on your bookshelf. Order now; allow for a late June delivery and appearance on

MEP grave marker dedicated -- 6-11-11 at 11:30 am at Napa's Tulocay Cemetery. We did it! A beautiful new stone will now grace the grave of Mary Ellen Pleasant. Thanks to all who made it possible!


Bibbs Brings Pleasant Back to the Bay Area!
Run through May 7
San Leandro Library
Mary Lee Barr, (510) 577-3971

Soprano, actress, and filmmaker Susheel Bibbs is well-known for her enactment of Mary Ellen Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights in California, but the Bay Area has not seen this acclaimed program for several years. On May 7 at 2 pm Bibbs will once again put on the Pleasant mantle to bring this daring woman to life for Bay Area audiences -- this time at the San Leandro Library, 300 Estudillo Ave, San Leandro, CA 94577. The one-woman show, called a chautauqua, is entitled Meet Mary Pleasant and is free to the public.

In this colorful three-part drama, Bibbs plays Pleasant in a monologue based on Pleasant's own words, then answers questions in character. After a quick change, she then appears as herself to answer the audience's questions. Says Dr. Bibbs, "It's fun, participatory history, designed for adults and teens." This is the same presentation that is excerpted in Bibbs' award-winning PBS film on Pleasant -- Meet Mary Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights, but it has not been featured in the Bay Area since the films were released on PBS.

Mary Ellen Pleasant’s dramatic life encompassed slavery, abolition, the gold rush and the Civil War. She helped shaped early San Francisco and amassed a joint fortune once assessed at $30 million dollars! Pleasant assisted the abolitionist John Brown and is remembered in a San Francisco memorial as the Mother of Civil Rights in California.
Dr. Susheel Bibbs, for many years a lecturer at UC Berkeley, holds a Ph.D. in Communications and is an award-winning independent filmmaker. For more on Dr. Bibbs' films, on Pleasant, and on this event, see, or call the Main Library’s Information Desk at (510) 577-3971

Online flyer link:

More to come!!


MEET MARY PLEASANT (Mother of Civil Rights) has now been broadcast on 44% of all PBS stations and in Canada (2008-2010) and won a 2010 Gold Kahuna Award for Filmmaking Excellence from the Honolulu International Film Festival. Why not give a copy as a gift or donate a copy to a library or school?

This year's version contains bonus material! (click the SHOP tab)



Nov. 1, 3 pm, 2009 Screening of MEET MARY PLEASANT and talk by Susheel Bibbs: Holiday Inn Express, Elk Grove, CA (near Sacramento off Hwy 99) -- See Schedule for more detail. DVD's and books will be on sale.



MEET MARY PLEASANT NOW ON DVD and on AMAZON.COM !! -new low pricing
Visit the store to order your copy of MEET MARY PLEASANT without bonus material for only $19.95. Soon the film will also be available on for On-demand purchase and digital download. Look for it. Oh, and if you like the film, please write a "sterling" review on the Amazon site. Thanks!

= Want the Film only? Click here or visit our shop to order: The film without bonus material
= Film with bonus interviews? -includes Louis DeCaro, Jr., Jean Libby, Mama Lola, Gwen Robinson, and others. Click here or visit our shop to order:

BIBBS has resumed LIVE Chautauquas! BOOK NOW
Did you catch this one? Feb. 18 at San Diego City College -- Saville Theatre, 11:10 am, San Diego contact: Julie Kitterman-- To book your chautauqua, email

SCREEN THE FILM at your school, college, or organization event
Susheel Bibbs is currently touring with the film followed by a special Q & A. Other events can be scheduled around the screening as well: a PowerPoint lecture, traveling exhibit, and chautauqua "how to" workshop. To schedule a screening for your College, Museum, or organization, email

IN 2009


MEET MARY PLEASANT now on PBS nationally once again this year. Have your local station carry it.

WHY NOT GET THE NOTES? Don't forget, scholars notes and bibliography are available for Bibbs' social history on Pleasant -- Heritage of Power --by emailing


IN 2008

Bibbs wins best director award!
On June 25 Dr. Bibbs received top directing honors -- BEST DIRECTOR OF A DOCUMENTARY (of any type) at the awards ceremony held by New York International Independent Video and Film Festival. -a special surprise

The film was an official finalist at the "Sundance of black film" --The Hollywood Black Film Festival in Beverly Hills, June 08.

MEET MARY PLEASANT screens at Cannes! ITN Distribution took MEET MARY PLEASANT to screen in May 08 at the renowned Cannes Film Festival (Marche du Film) in France -- one of only five of their hundreds of films on sale there. Dr. Bibbs was on hand and the film was well received.

MEET MARY PLEASANT screens at the African Marketplace in LA!
Follow up from the Cannes screening has placed the film in the "Cinema After Dark Showcase" outdoors at the AFRICAN MARKETPLACE AND CULTURAL FAIRE held in LA August between Aug 16 and Sept. 1. Check the screening time on their site after Aug. 1 at
AfricanMarketplace Amphitheatre, 8:15pm each nightFirst AME Church and The African American Museum in LA will be community sponsors -- more to come

In St. Louis. KETC-TV teamed up with the Missouri History Museum to present a public screening and an airing of MEET MARY PLEASANT. The FREE screening was June 12, 7 pm. at the MO History Museum; Susheel was there, and a fine audience showed! The film then aired on KETC-TV (Ch. 9) on Sunday, July 6 at 9:30pm. Great event.


MEET MARY PLEASANT now on PBS nationally (distributor, NETA ) --The film is airing all over the country on PBS. Check local listings for times. If you don't see it, ask your local PBS-station programming director to carry it. Here are some CA upcoming air dates - (one hour)


In 2007

- MEET MARY PLEASANT Wins Two Film Festival Awards

MEET MARY PLEASANT, the performance documentary on Mary Ellen Pleasant by Susheel Bibbs, screened in two well-known film festivals this Fall. There are two versions of this TV documentary -- the Educator's version (41:28 min.) and the TV version for PBS (56:46 min.) both won separate awards. The PBS (long) version won BEST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY in their LA (Hollywood) venue where it screened in The New York International Independent Film Festival (LA).

The short version won BEST OF FESTIVAL (Peace Reel Medallion) DOCUMENTARY in The Berkeley Film and Video Festival, Berkeley, CA. Kudos to technical and production professionals who helped Dr. Bibbs create these works

Three Versions of the film available on this site
Dr. Bibbs acclaimed performance as Pleasant (based on Pleasant's own words) has been interwoven into three TV performance documentaries that reveal Pleasant's story and her most important civil-rights contributions!!

No. 1 is the one-hour version PBS version with or without bonus interviews -- MEET MARY PLEASANT (Mother of Civil Rights in CA) $24.95 or $19.95. Take a look at our store. -narrated by award-winning actress Ruby Dee.

-Film only, click here or visit our shop: The film without bonus material

-Bonus interview version includes ideas from Louis DeCaro, Jr., Jean Libby, Mama Lola, Gwen Robinson, and others. Click here:

No. 2 is a 41-minute version for teachers ($19.95), called MEET MARY PLEASANT and also narrated by award-winning actress Ruby Dee. It employs East Coast, West Coast, and Canadian history and scholars as they pertain to Pleasant's story and puts it all in context -- abolition, Underground Railroad, Civil Rights, her precedent-setting court battle. Order this one on this site under "our shop"

No. 3 is a 26:46 min.version ($14.95) called THE LEGACY OF MARY ELLEN PLEASANT, narrated by Akiba Howard. Created for Viewfinder, a Sacramento PBS series, it is fast-paced look at Pleasant that focuses primarily on her great court battle in Sacramento, which altered modern-day civil rights-- includes only California scholars. Order this one on this site under "our shop"


MEET M.E.P. Archive --Scholars take note
This three-DVD archive on Pleasant documents and gives context for Dr. Bibbs work and chautauqua and features documentary evidence, commentary by noted scholars of the US and Canada, photos, and sequences on areas of controversy surrounding Pleasant's life. Visit AAMLO, TheAfrican American Museum and Library, 659 14th St. Oakland, CA to view and use it.

MEP Historic Sites
Mary Pleasant's gravesite at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, CA, is now part of the National Parks Service's Network-to- Freedom Program.

The trees at Bush and Octavia Streets, San Francisco, are now becoming San Francisco landmarks.

Susheel is now booking her one-woman presentations of Pleasant's life for 2007-2008-- contact for bookings--dates still available.

=Dr. Bibbs' new book, which will solve the mysteries of Pleasant's life is slated for 2009! Watch for it.


Susheel offers master classes on the spiritual
Susheel was one of the first people honored with a Spirituals Heritage Keepers Award by the Friends of Negro Spirituals of Oakland, CA. The award ceremony has now become an annual event. Currently Susheel is in demand for masterclasses on the spiritual and has just presented in Hawaii. She now has a booklet available on performing the spiritual. Send for a copy
For more information on the awards, contact: Sam Edwards --

To book or get information about the chautauqua programs or exhibit here, or for any other inquiries just email us at

Archived News