What's it about?
A play about African-American women who made it their duty to revolutionize the discriminatory, violent, and racist state of America in their time.
What I experienced?
Being that the “Women’s March” took place all over the world a couple of days prior to me seeing this play, I was excited to attend. I was excited on account of seeing an all-woman cast especially during the political climate that we are currently in, where women are fighting to gain rights and to keep the rights that they currently have. I felt somewhat privileged because I was so ready to bask in a play where women were empowering each other to do great things.
The play was primarily about the women who were in “The Black Panther” movement. They were a group of African American women who fought relentlessly to end police brutality and racism, by any means. In the play I learned that it started out as a self defense group for women and they originated in Oakland, California. The organization was started by a man named Huey P. Newton (who, in the show, was played by a girl).
I have literally never learned so much from a play in my life. When Huey P. Newton called another member of the group by their full name “Afeni Shakur” I was like…
Shakur? The only Shakur I have ever known was Tupac. So I took out my cellphone and googled “Tupac’s mom” and low and behold…
IT WAS HER!
I didn’t know that his mom and auntie Assata, who was also in the play, were a part of the Black Panther Party. I began to think about how tragic his death must have been because his family stood for justice and peace in the black community, meanwhile his death was associated with black on black crime.
It was uplifting to see women who were willing to literally go to jail for their rights. They knew that the future was in their hands. They learned how to shoot guns and did not necessarily use violence to get their point across, but if violence ensued they definitely knew how to handle themselves.
Although this was a primarily women’s party, these women fought for all African Americans too. They fought for people like me, who are alive today so that we wouldn’t be stopped and killed just for being black and walking down the street.
Of course, there are still areas in the world where racism exists but this play demonstrated how far we have come and the depths we can go to reach a goal of peace and equality.
Want to see it?
@ A.R.T. South Oxford Space, Brooklyn
thru Feb. 12