Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hassled by the Man

A black playwright on writing a "black play" that isn't about making you feel better. (Love's Labors Lost)

As I was looking at the piece I'm working on now, I realized something peculiar. I noticed how freely I used West African and African Diaspora mythology and religion as formal elements of my work. I noticed how easily I imagined Orixa as a Black woman without also imagining other characters as White. I noticed how naturally this all came to me, with little if any conscious or deliberate choices on my part. I saw how I'm creating a play that is by and about Black people without it being about Being Black [in America]. This piece I'm working on now is thoroughly Black yet creates a world rooted in myth, religion, and art - expressions drawn from the depths of human existence - and White people are not at the center or at the root of it.

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