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Will America Ever Be a Promised Land for Black Men?

President Obama is hopeful, but other Black men struggle greatly to experience America as a promised land.

ATLANTA, GA, USA, November 17, 2020 / -- As the first volume of President Barack Obama’s post-White House memoir drops today, its title, Promised Land, conveys his hope for America to become what is described in its creeds – one day. Perhaps in his role as a highly revered Oval Office occupant he must have this kind of hope, but for other Black men in America, this land holds little to no promise of their lives mattering. A brand new musical in development, Far Away from Home, posits that Black men must find their own way to a sense of belonging in order for their lives to matter.

“As I learned more about the struggles my father faced growing up in the rural American south, for instance where only 1% of black men make it out, I understood better how Daddy could not be present for me while I was growing up in ways that I needed.” ~dr. candi dugas, Book Writer + Producer, Far Away from Home, a production of candi dugas & associates

Mr. William “Billy” Dugas, dr. dugas’ father, expressed regret toward the end of his life for not being a better father, despite his love for and pride in his daughter, probably feelings that he felt all along, but was unable to articulate. The music beautifully composed by the songwriting team of CC Sunchild and Christian Magby brilliantly convey the tender heart of a troubled man only seen as trouble by American society, rather than for the genius he contributes.

“Everyone deserves a backstory, and Far Away from Home allows that for Gary, the character inspired by candi’s dad. What led to his being where he is? What life events pushed him to the brinks of all that he faces? I love that he’s troubled, that we get to see inside that internal conflict.” ~Eugene H. Russell, IV*, “Gary Estes,” Far Away from Home

One of dr. dugas’ goals for this new musical in development is to focus more on the life of the man who became a father, exploring what can happen when Black men have access to more and different decisions, to a real time promised land, to help them elevate themselves and their lives.

“We can become stuck on what Black men do not do, who they have not been, that we completely miss what they have done, and who they have been – like the 82% of Black men who did not vote for 45 rather than focusing on the minority of them who did. Far Away from Home is a bit cathartic for me as I get to re-imagine Daddy’s life before he arrived at a place of no return. I … get to hand to him through space and time another way out of a trajectory set for his life centuries before he was born,” dr. dugas reflects.

The first phase of development of Far Away from Home concludes with a finale this Thursday, 19 November 2020, 6pm ET, streaming LIVE. Viewing is free, but everyone must register for a link to view:

Far Away from Home features Eugene H. Russell, IV*; Naima Carter Russell*; Terry Henry; and Lamont J. Hill, – directed by David Koté, MFA; with dramaturgy by Addae Moon, MFA; and Stage Management by Lexi McKay. With a deep interest in developing the next generation of artists, the team includes three interns: Devon Gates, Terry Kiser, and T’Shauna Henry. Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners (Atlanta, GA, USA), National Black Arts (Atlanta, GA, USA) with other sponsors: Centerform; Rev. J. Bernard Kynes, Sr., LMFT (Atlanta, GA, USA); and Tabia Clinkscales Graphic Design (Atlanta, GA, USA) – along with individual donors.

For more information:
• Far Away from Home’s Media Kit:
• Free tickets for Far Away from Home’s virtual workshop readings:
• dr. candi’s Instagram: @candigirlfreedom



candi dugas & associates curates original content that conveys authentic Black storytelling along a rainbow of experiences. When we tell Black stories, we change the conversation in ways that compel COMPLETE freedom™. Our words entertain, empower, and guide audiences strategically to take action and achieve results for us all.

dr. candi dugas
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