He concludes with a proposal:
At any rate, it's clear to me that one way for theatre artists of any color to make a difference is to connect with their own community - to tell its story. Yet I can't remember the last time I saw a play about our own racial issues on a major local stage. So I'd like to make a modest proposal to our colleges, theatres, and foundations - how about a prize, or a grant, or a commission to an artist of color for a play about Boston? With a production guaranteed? There are so many theatrical episodes in our past - from the slow creation of the "color lines" that still criss-cross the city to the shocking riots over busing in Charlestown - that there's almost a surfeit of material available. And we certainly do not suffer from a dearth of talented writers. So how about it? Maybe we could call it the Jim Spruill and Lynda Patton Prize. Or maybe the Martin Luther King Prize.
Those not from the Boston Area may not be familiar with Jim Spruill, who recently passed away. Here is a link to some information.
Almost simultaneously with the arrival of Tom's post, were a few e-mails about the following event in Roxbury this month:
It is described this way:
What happens when FAMILY is in STRIFE...
COMMUNITY is RUNNING SCARED...
YOUTH are ANGRY...
And STREET JUSTICE is TAKING OVER..?
SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER
A night of performance art answering the call!
4 One-Act plays
Highlighting the Violence in Urban Neighborhoods
In response to the rise of violent crimes in Boston, local theater artists join forces to create a forum for discussion through an evening of dramatic works and creative dance. “Screaming Bloody Murder,” a collaborative effort among Roxbury Center for Arts, Swagga Inc, and TYG Productions, will feature four one-acts from playwrights Mwalim, Frank A. Shefton, Vincent Ernest Siders and Sean Travis Taylor, as well as dance creations from Boston Tap Company and Swagga Inc. Following the performances there will be an open discussion about the works and the issues surrounding them.
Could be a start!