Home 2019-07-01T00:42:25+00:00

A stunning performance documentary with internationally acclaimed artists tells the Hyers’ story in word and song with a hip-hop poet, who interprets its meaning for our day.

Watch Trailer By Clicking Photo Below: 

Synopsis – 

  PLEASE NOTE (USE THIS PURCHASE BUTTON):  DVD’s are now available through this site and on Amazon.com.  This award-winning 30-min. documentary is not just a version of the film now on PBS.  It is it’s own film — wonderful for opera, music, and history lovers with more background, performance, and ending material.

     In the perilous 1870’s and 80’s, when night riders and lynching terrorized black people and blackface minstrels ridiculed them across the land, The Hyers Sisters (popular, black, touring-opera prodigies) stood up to become Voices for Freedom.  They fought the minstrels’ ridicule with charming works that revealed the depth and dignity of African Americans.  These became the first American musicals and the first works  to use integrated casting in American Music theater.


Performers include

Internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano Tichina Vaughn, hip-hop poet WolfHawkJaguar, filmmaker/performer Susheel Bibbs, baritones Omari Tau and Robert Sims, tenor-pianist Othello Jefferson, pianist Jacqui Hairston, master drummer Pope Flyne, sopranos Hope Briggs and Shawnette Sulker, and other artists with  expert commentators:  Susan Anderson, Rick Moss, Thomas Riis, Halifu Osumare, Robert Sims, and others.

Hosted by
international Opera Star Denyce Graves-Montgomery

Hip-Hop poet

Susheel Bibbs

About Susheel:  Independent filmmaker Susheel Bibbs has served the arts and the humanities for over 26 years. An acclaimed classical singer and actress, national Emmy winner, and once the youngest Executive Producer in the PBS system for a major international series, Bibbs has, since 2007, secured 13 international, independent-film awards (including three for excellence in directing), an Oscar qualifying screening, and two international Telly Awards. Both of her award-winning documentaries – Meet Mary Pleasant in HD (screened at Cannes) and Voices for Freedom (26 min version) — are now on PBS nationally; the 30 min. Hyers film is a separate film and is on DVD and touring nationwide.
See more on Bibbs’ films at http://californiafilm.net/profile/SusheelBibbs and her performances at www.susheelbibbs.com

Current News and Events

PURCHASE BUTTON UNDER THE PICTURE:  DVD’s (30 mins) are now available through this site and on Amazon.com.  Just click the Purchase button.  This winner of 9 international awards and an Oscar qualifying screening is not the one on PBS — This has more performances, more detail on their  communities, more on the Hyers outcome, and a great surprise ending.  Not an alternate — a really special film of its own.

  • The short 26 min VOICES continues on PBS, and  by 2018 it had 216 airings on 128 channels in 56 TV markets in 20 states (37% national coverage.  Watch for broadcasts in St. Louis next Winter, and please ask your local station to air it.
  •  You may order the DVD (30 min.) by mail. Checks to DKC  Mail it c/o 123 Mint Leaf Way, Sacramento, CA 95838  $15 per DVD plus postage $4/dvd. (Only $7 postage per order for 5 DVDs)
  • Order Bibbs’ new companion booklet on the Hyers: https://www.amazon.com/Voices-Freedom-Sisters-ChangeLegacy/dp/1535017449/ref=sr_1_cc_6?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1529960242&sr=1-6-catcorr&keywords=susheel+bibbs
  • Donate below to  have this available on commercial media sites and to help us edit the expanded version is coming this Fall. Help us below!
Click below to donate to expand and distribute this film (tax deductible)

To help expand this film with more background and performance, please make your tax-deductible donation below,
payable to 
The Living Heritage Foundation
with a note on the check that says, 
“Hyers Film”
Attn: Bibbs-LHF, 123 Mint Leaf Way, Sacramento, CA 95838

Stay Connected

Contact: mepleasant1@yahoo.com      c/o 123 Mint Leaf Way, Sacramento, CA 95838        http://www.susheelbibbs.com/