Whites are superior to blacks—at least that was the attitude during the days of the Jim Crow laws. Ironically Jim Crow Harris was also the name of the leading man in All God’s Chillun Got Wings, which I just finished last night. The story became very intense as Jim’s Caucasian wife lost her sanity and he lost his hope. When the couple returned home from Europe, Jim states that it is because they felt like cowards for running away from their problems; their problem being that they live in a society where interracial couples are frowned upon because a black man wasn’t even considered human.
It’s definitely easy for me to relate to their situation. Not only am I in a mixed relationship, I’m also in a gay relationship. And in Kentucky (where I grew up) that’s considered doubly taboo even by today’s standards. I can tell you from personal experience that whites are NOT superior to blacks—especially when it comes to…umm…shoe size. But even in 2012, there are parts of the south that believe in the segregation of races when it comes to marriage. You may have heard about the church in Pikeville, Kentucky that banned interracial couples from their congregation. We’ve come a long way, but this proves we still have so far to go.
I must thank my friend for recently donating her anthology of Eugene O’Neill plays to me. It’s crazy how a script as old as All God’s Chillun can still be so relevant. Maybe I should go home to Kentucky and produce this show there. I mean, that’s why I do theatre in the first place: to educate and heal.
To end with a happier note, I went to my first grant workshop last night, and it was extremely helpful and informative. Then I picked up my next script at the library where they were having an exhibit about the history of early theatre in Chicago. What a way to close out my week!