Here I Am is a powerful autobiographical performance engaging the continuing legacy of slavery in American life, and offering a deeply personal window into the multifaceted history of an institution that benefited from slavery. Mélisande Short-Colomb, a native of New Orleans, began her studies at Georgetown in 2017 at the age of 63.
Colomb is a direct descendant of Abraham Mahoney and Mary Ellen Queen, who were among the 272 slaves owned and sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838 to help keep Georgetown afloat. Here I Am explores her loving and complicated relationship with the institution that enslaved her ancestors, while challenging audiences to consider the future of racial justice in America. Colomb will be joined on stage by acclaimed transatlantic vocalist and songwriter Somi, who is creating an original vocal music score.