Its the word “too” that’s important.
The audience was greeted with these word. s by playwright Angela Jackson-Brown (Jackson Brown Entertainment) at the Indianapolis Firefighter’s Museum. “Its not that ONLY black lives matter. Black lives matter too.”
The description for this show states that it explores the “struggles and triumphs of black people from slavery to the present.” The show delivered on that for sure but was definitely heavy on the struggles.
A handful of talented performers—a percussionist, dancers, singers, actors—went from one act to another with passion and verve galore. No one on that stage experienced being kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery for example—“They took our gods and goddesses and gave us Jesus”—but you would have thought they did.
Each part of the play explored a different component of black history or culture: Use of the N word, (“It may have been reclaimed, but it’s still unforgivable”), black girl magic, the sometimes difficult relationship the black community has had with law enforcement, to name a few. To drive that last point home, there were signs around the chairs in the audience, and blown-up photos used as props, with images and names of young black people who died at the end of a police officer’s gun. You’d recognize most of them.
A BIT OF A QUANDARY
It was all well performed. The only skit that left me scratching my head—there was just something I was missing—is when a young man came out in a President Trump mask, and with a fervor in his acting which was impressive portrayed “Trump” giving a lesson in how to kill a black man.
The show ended with the group saying they wanted to “Reclaim black back!” I was left wishing the play’s writers had added their ideas in two or three skits about how to make that happen. It was all quite well done and worth the time. Ending on a hopeful note, however, would have definitely been a higher note.
Indianapolis Fire Fighters Museum
Sat. 8/19: 10:30 pm
Mon. 8/21: 9:00 pm
Fri.. 8/25: 9:00 pm
Sat. 8/26: 6:00 pm
Sun: 8/27: 1:30 pm