When There Are Absolutely No Words...
I didn't want to write about this on Facebook...no...to be more accurate, I couldn't write about this on Facebook. For me, it didn't feel appropriate to put it on that platform. I usually tend to stay out of issues like this in a social media platform. Not because I'm trying to play it safe, or be politcally correct, but because there are just no words that I can put on them to describe how I feel. But I'm going to try.
Recently, there have been back to back issues of unfair injustices profiled on the news and at the heart of them are race-related issues. It breaks my heart tosee where this world is going in these matters because to me it's backwards. How can someone take the law into their own hands and decide to take the life of someone else, or threaten, or harm a life and there be little to no reprecussions. How can the person who initiated the crime decide to quit their job because the 'stress is too much on them and their families' and still collect a pension. How can another story come along and this crazy, chaotic, unjust incident be swept under the rug until the next horrible race-related hate crime happens, and then we go back into the same vicious cycle.
Furthermore, how can I, an college-educated black man who owns his own entertiainement company feel that my race (specifically my gender) are becoming more and more of an endagered species? How is every day becoming a scarier, darker, and uncertain place for a 30 year old based soley on the color of his skin?
In late 2008, I had the honor of adapting the story of The Little Rock 9 into a play format, and In 2009 I was blessed to stage the world premiere in Salisbury, North Carolina:
We held a talkback session every single night for this show, this was a chance for the audience members to share their thoughts and criticisms about the show, as well as to ask questions to the cast and crew about the process of getting the show up on stage. I remember telling someone in the audience that this play was significant because it shows how far we've come as a people, but we must not forget to ask the question everyday how much further must we go. I also referenced the famous quote that we must learn from our mistakes or we are doomed to repeat them in the future. My prediction is that we are rapidly getting to that point, and if we are not careful, soon, it may be too late.
At times like this,when words fail me, I do the only thing that I know how to do well. I express myself through writing. Sometimes it's a song, sometimes it's a diary entry, but this go round. It's going to be another show. Theater is a very powerful medium. It shines a light on things and makes everyone involved in the process, the cast, the crew, and the audience sit up and pay attention, and talk about these things. There is not a more powerful and immediate medium that I know of. I'm taking my frustrations, and I'm going to write them down. I'm going to put these issues into the form of a play and see what I come up with. I'm going to hold this in my heart as a passion project and only entrust it with the people that I know will help it along in the way that it needs to eventually get to stage and I'm going to share the laughter, the love, the anger, the tears, but most importantly the truth with a nightly audience.
This is what works for me, and what I know to do to add something valuable in a positive light to the equation. I hope that you are able to find what works for you and your peace. I am praying for this country and grieving with it as well.