On March 12, 2018, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Nova Y. Payton, Dr. Patrice E. Turner, and NaTasha Yvette Williams joined Jason Robert Brown as his special guest artists for his 35th SubCulture Residency Concert. Though the footage from these concerts have largely been kept under wraps, on June 3 SubCulture released Williams’ performance of “Hope” in solidarity with and as a declaration of Black Lives Matter.
Williams has appeared on Broadway numerous times, beginning with her Broadway debut in the cast of the original production of The Color Purple. She went on to appear in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and A Night With Janis Joplin. She has repeatedly starred in Broadway’s Chicago, with multiple stints as Matron Mama Morton. Williams also starred as Becky in Broadway’s Waitress.
Brown penned the song during his long-standing artistic residency, and recorded the song for his 2018 album how we react and how we recover.