TU student, alumna continue spreading their parents’ legacy through play about African-American flag

By Theresa Pratt, contributing writer

Towson University senior Kaylah Harvey and her sister, alumna Chloe Harvey, are continuing to share the history of the Harvey African-American flag their parents created through the art of playwriting after producing their play at Towson and Morgan State universities last year. 

The pair had an event Saturday at the North Point branch of the Baltimore County Public Library to share their background and how the play, “20|02,” came to be. 

Attendees saw an excerpt of the play in which David and Tonya Harvey create the flag, as portrayed by Towson alumni Tyrel Brown and Kendra Hyater-Davis. 

David and Tonya Harvey created the flag in 1991 to accompany the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and to uplift the Black community, its website states. 

The sisters grew up with the flag around their home, but it took until their young adulthood to realize the impact their parents had on Black history in America. 

“Our grandparents took us to see a lot of shows and dance recitals. We also grew up singing and dancing just for fun around the house,” Chloe Harvey said. 

It was not until high school when they were allowed to perform and study theater through the Baltimore County public school system that they began to see a future for themselves in that industry. They decided to educate others about the flag and share their parents’ legacy through their playwriting. 

“We thought it was interesting that we had developed an understanding of the flag almost exactly 20 years after our parents had created it. We wanted it to be 2020, for the year that we started everything, and 2002 for the year where the news cycle for the flag kind of ended,” Kaylah Harvey said of the play’s title.

David Harvey died in 2002.

Library employee Rosalyn Rivera saw the Harveys’ play last year. She said she had been wanting them to come to the library to speak about it. 

“I love their energy,” Rivera said. “They are just so passionate, and I love how they talk about the flag and their family.” 

A friend of Tonya and David Harvey’s, Dawn Tucker, attended the library event. She pointed out the flag’s symbolism as her favorite aspect of it. 

The flag displays a star whose eight points coincide with an “A.F.R.I.C.A.N.S” acronym, highlighting family, community and righteousness. 

“Any person would need to have something to inspire them to continue to pursue their dreams,” Tucker said. 

Chloe and Kaylah Harvey said they’d like to present “20|02” anywhere someone will have them.


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