More than 160 years ago, Sojourner Truth stood in front of the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio, and delivered her now-famous "Ain't I A Woman" speech calling for racial and women's equality.

Miss Savannah USA Lucia A. Jahannes will tell you Truth's message still resonates in America.

As part of her platform to promote equality for women around the globe, she teamed up with her father, Dr. Ja A. Jahannes, to create an original one-woman opera titled "Ain't I A Woman," which she will perform at 7 p.m. June 8 at The Sanctuary of Savannah.

"My father is a playwright, among other things, and we felt the timing was perfect to create this musical score and bring it to a modern audience to help promote my platform," Jahannes said.

Don't let the word "opera" fool you. This show is not your typical formal performance.

"It's a mix of R&B, gospel, blues and little bit of hip-hop," Jahannes said about the all-ages show. "Sojourner Truth had such a powerful story as a woman, and this is a new face to that. I want to reach a younger audience, but I also want to reach anyone who wants to be empowered."

Jahannes will compete in the Miss Georgia USA pageant from Nov. 21-23 in Cartersville. She wants to prove to the judges she is serious about serving her community.

"I'm more interested in doing something rather than being something," she said.

The songs she plans to sing from "Ain't I A Woman" tell the story of the need for freedom, justice and equality.

"This is a contemporary opera performance," Jahannes said. "We will have a dance troupe, awesome musicians and a narrator. It's going to be a good time."

Women's equality is only one of her platforms.

"I also promote health and wellness for children. I started a gymnastics program for kids at the Habersham YMCA.," she said.

While Jahannes will represent Savannah in a pageant supposedly focused on outer beauty, she seems to be more interested in showcasing her inner beauty.

"It's important to me to understand international issues and to find a way to empower everyone to be a part of the solution to societal issues," Jahannes said. "My goal is to spread a good message and to be a voice for our community."


What: "Ain't I A Woman"

When: 7 p.m. June 8

Where: The Sanctuary of Savannah, 8912 Whitfield Ave.

Cost: $20 (money raised goes to fund Jahannes' bid for the Miss Georgia USA title). Call for VIP and sponsorship options.

Info: 912-272-8631