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Friday Performance at The Grandel will honor former St. Louis Poet Laureate

"She was captivating when she walked on stage. She was also very much as she would call her lady, woman, girl, self."

ST. LOUIS — With Mother’s Day fast approaching, people may be thinking of unique ways to honor their moms. St Louisan Lyah Beth LeFlore-Ituen is working on something big.

“It really needs to be right,” LeFlore-Ituen told 5 On Your Side. She’s talking about the production she is putting together Friday night at The Grandel to honor her mother, Shirley Bradley Price-LeFlore. 

This week she’s been overseeing the rehearsals which consist of pianos, guitars, bongos, singing and spoken word.

“Shirley Bradley Price-Leflore’s words are the lyrics. She just had a way of saying things,” LeFlore-Ituen said.

The lyrics are from the book “Rivers of Women, The Play”.  A collection of poems by her mother who was the St Louis Poet Laureate before her death.

 “It is such a powerful piece. One of Shirley’s most prolific works. It is everything. All encompassing of womanhood,” LeFlore-Ituen said.

LeFlore-Ituen is an accomplished writer herself. She has numerous best-selling books. She gained her confidence in being a strong woman from her mother.

“She as captivating when she walked onto stage. She was also very much as she would call her lady, woman, girl self,” she said.

Price-Leflore was a poet, an activist and an educator. But she also made the time to be there for her daughters.

“When I was in my weary moments, when I was in my grand moments, she my rock,” said LeFlore-Ituen.

The significance of this Sunday being Mother’s Day also makes honoring her mother important.

“This is a really special time for us because she actually passed on Mother’s Day 2019,” she said. Her mother died after a battle with Kidney Disease, according to the Shirley Bradlet LeFlore Foundation website.

The performance will also benefit the Shirley Bradley LeFlore Foundation.

  “We are a 501c3 organization. And we are in partnership with Webster University to endow her scholarship. We knew that we needed to make her dream live on,” LeFlore-Intuen told 5 On Your Side.

“I always wanted to do my work make my mother proud,” she said.

If you would like to learn about the foundation, the production and the scholarship, check out the Shirley Bradley LeFlore Foundation website.