Lyceum Series begins Black History Month with musical honoring America’s first Black cowboys

Contact: Aspen Harris

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Acclaimed jazz vocalist, guitarist and composer Allan Harris brings his country rock-inspired musical story “Cross That River”—honoring America’s first Black cowboys—to Mississippi State’s 76th Lyceum Series.

Allan Harris
Allan Harris (Courtesy photo)

Through a mix of fact and fiction, the Feb. 6 production tells the story of runaway slave Blue, played by Harris, who escapes Texas in the 1860s to pursue new beginnings in the unsettled West.

The “Cross That River” cast takes the Bettersworth Auditorium stage in historic Lee Hall for a show free to MSU students. The general public can purchase tickets at Individual tickets are $30 per person and $25 for MSU employees and senior citizens.

Created in 2006, “Cross That River” has depicted important history across the country and served as an educational tool for children. Through a Chamber Music America Residency Grant, the musical has been brought to 12 Harlem schools, and a children’s version is available on the Kennedy Center Distance Learning program website.

The Lyceum Series is MSU’s longest running performance arts series and a key part of the university’s continued commitment to the arts. For more information and tickets, visit

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Friday, January 26, 2024 - 11:16 am