Elizabeth-Acevedo Elizabeth-Acevedo
Elizabeth Acevedo

Poet Elizabeth Acevedo On Why #BlackLivesMatter Should Matter To Latinos

"Just because anti-blackness is ingrained in our community doesn't mean you're not at fault for allowing it to keep you silent."

The cry for "Black Lives Matter" continues to echo throughout the nation in the wake of the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, but Afro-Dominican poet Elizabeth "Liz" Acevedo couldn't help but realize that the voices of her community have been disproportionately silent.

The award-winning performer took to Instagram to sound off on a sensitive topic in the Latino community as she often does within her poetry, but this time there were no metaphors or similes infused in her no chaser message.

"One time for those of us who don't think we are complicit through our silence," she wrote. "One time for those of us who pass in this society and don't think these issues affect us because we live under the guise of: Latino, Hispanic, light-skinned, Trigueño, Indio, mestizo, or any other term that doesn't mean sh*t because they will come for us too."

The epidemic of "another day, another hashtag" doesn't end with Sterling and Castile as the list of slain black people—including Latinos—grows at an alarming rate. According to Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino CEO and president, police violence against Latinos fails to make headlines although it mirrors the abuse against the black community. "Since Eric Garner, we had had five young Latinos that had been killed by police officers in the same manner that had not been covered at all in the media," Kumar said, revealing that Latinos aren't as isolated from the Black Lives Matter movement as many would opt to believe.

Though she admits it's not always easy, Acevedo isn't one to undermine her duty to speak up in the face of injustice or to cancel out any parts of her heritage that she's been taught to devalue. Her Dominican bloodline coupled with her New York City upbringing pulses through her words when she takes the mic on national and international stages. She checks off National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion and the 2016 Women of the World Slam Representative for Washington, D.C., where she resides, off her list of accomplishments.

Now the proud Afro-Latina lends her voice to VIBE VIVA in a phone interview where she criticizes anti-blackness within her community, stresses the importance of reclaiming our stories and issues a much-needed call for solidarity.

VIBE VIVA: The back-to-back police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile tested the breaking point of the black community this month. How did you immediately react to the news? 
Elizabeth Acevedo: I mean when Alton Sterling happened it was that moment of like oh snap, here's another story, but with Philando Castile happening that evening, I think that was where it was really like this just can't be possible anymore. How is it that every week we are hearing about somebody else and now it's happening twice in one day? And the numbers are staggering. There are lives being killed every day but for it to hit the media and to just feel that moment of despair of is this really how it's going to keep going down? Like how many people are they going to kill in one day before something changes? It was just—despair was really the word that I kept going back to.

All Def Poetry shared your poem "Beloved or If You Are Murdered Tomorrow" on YouTube at the end of June. Does it trip you out that the cycle of police brutality has taken a turn for the worst since then?
I think as a poet, it's that moment where you realize this piece you wrote last year that then got shared in June is not only relevant but is still timely in July. It's sad because I almost don't want that poem to be relevant. I don't want that poem to be used as a way to cope because I don't want to have to be coping with this anymore. I'm just so tired of the many people I know, all of us poets, writing about black deaths and just how exhausting it is to feel like this poetry is our only outlet.

As an Afro-Latina, you pointed out that many Latinxs have chosen to remain mum in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. Why is their silence problematic?
I think that the lack of solidarity [is the problem]. There's a lot of Latinos who don't consider themselves Afro-Latinos, but they still don't see how this struggle and being in solidarity and just seeing the humanity of Black Lives Matter is going to affect them. A lot of the privileges that are had in this country are due to a lot of the struggles that black Americans took on before a lot of us immigrated here so to not see the one-to-one correlation of how our struggles work together when we consider how the Latino community is treated [is a problem].

But also on a humanity aspect, just on a brotherhood aspect, how can you live in a country where you know that people are being killed every day and remain silent because they don't look like you or because they don't share your first language or because so often they're stereotypically depicted as folks you should be afraid of? And I think that the Latino community sometimes wants to other itself and not pick a side, but in doing that, it's picking a side. I think about a lot of the conversations I've had with my family, that I've had with my community, and how sometimes we can be activists in English, but when it comes to coming home and having those conversations, it's harder because we're fighting against cultural norms. We're fighting against how do you say this in Spanish. It just feels different, but that is a conversation that still needs to be had. It has to start at home.

One time for those of us who don't think we are complicit through our silence. One time for those of us who pass in this society and don't think these issues affect us because we live under the guise of: Latino, Hispanic, light-skinned, Trigueño, Indio, mestizo, or any other term that doesn't mean shit because they will come for us too. One time for those of us in the back who love black music, love saying the N-word and feeling included in black culture until moments like this one. Who remain fucking silent as black brethren die. Just because you're hiding in the middle of the room when it's time to speak doesn't mean you haven't picked a side. Just because anti-blackness is ingrained in our community doesn't mean you're not at fault for allowing it to keep you silent.

A photo posted by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites) on

Taking a moment to look abroad, silence also appears to be custom when it comes to the deep-seated discrimination against Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Growing up as a Dominican in New York, has there ever been a serious discussion between you and your family about that strained relationship or was it a norm that went unchallenged?
I first noticed it when I visited the Dominican Republic and a lot of the workers in the houses I would visit or who worked the yards or who worked the neighborhood, a lot of the menial jobs, were often of Haitian descent, and I just remember asking why is it that it's structured this way. I just didn't know. I was eight and just hadn't ever seen such a clear distinction. I think my family has always been pretty cognizant of the way in which power structures are at play and because my father is black, his approach is always very different in regards to how he would answer the question, but you do hear discriminatory ideas. You do have these stereotypical things that come through like 'they're trying to take over the country'--not necessarily [from] my family, but sometimes the community says things so it's hard for me always being aware of the island and thinking about how do we talk about Black Lives Matter there too. Like when we talk about the lynchings of Haitians on the Santo Domingo side of the island, where is the outrage for that and for those bodies and for that kind of power dynamic that is taking place? And that's not even talking about the border and the kind of horrors that you face if you are of Haitian descent.

You delve into the "tragic mixture" of Latinos in your poem "Afro-Latina." Aside from anti-blackness, what else is at play in preventing the community from celebrating, rather than de-emphasizing, its multi-faceted identity?
In this country it's interesting because people who come from Latin America often have a very one-sided opinion of what blackness means in the US, and there's a stereotype of [blacks] have their pants below their butt, they come from this kind of community, they fail, they kill one another, they're angry. These are the depictions people grow up with based off of how the media portrays black Americans. And so when you come here and you want to celebrate blackness, there's an automatic relation between blackness and the stereotyped ideology of black Americans. So for me growing up saying I'm black, my parents would be like 'you're not' because they only understood black as African American, and they were like whatever we think that is, we don't want you to be that.

There was a fear based off of negative portrayals of black Americans, but on the other hand, I think that in Latin America there's just this huge—especially in the Dominican Republic—need for affinity with whiteness and Europeanness and with power. The blue-eyed, blonde, like that is what's considered beautiful and so you always try to align with that. You see it in the hair straightening. You see it in the whitening creams. I grew up being told to put clothespins on my nose so it looks thinner, and these are all Eurocentric ideals so I think that's so ingrained that it's almost impossible to escape. You can only face it and run it over, but you're not going to leave it unscathed.

Do you remember the first step you took in moving from ashamed to unapologetic in embracing the full depth of your heritage?
I remember being in high school and joining a nonprofit organization called the Brotherhood/Sister Sol in Harlem, and they would do a lot of Pan-Africanism and Pan-Latinidad work and just talked about the history we have, and all of a sudden reading more about black heritage, about Latin America, about slavery, about colonialism, about what it meant to be a women in these structures, completely changed my outlook on myself. So for me, it was starting to read. It was like turning to information and seeing depictions of myself, and the information answers all of a sudden as to why things are the way they are and why we think the way we think about one another, which was so empowering to realize it was all concepts I could change. I could change how I thought until I could change what I believed about myself and from that moment forward, I think the way that I walked through the world, the way that I wore my hair, the way that I celebrated my ancestry changed because I realized there's so much to celebrate. It's not just the running and escaping from these places that we call home or came from. It's also returning to so many of the traditions we've forgotten.

Whether you're criticizing the assault on black lives or challenging the stigma attached to curly hair within the Latino community, you don't shy away from the tough topics. Where do you draw your strength when it's time to write?
I think about what scares me to say, and I realize that oftentimes that's what needs to be said most. Like what is it that I think is going to cause a ripple that I don't want the world to really hear, that I know might be controversial, and do I really want to take this on? And oftentimes the answer is no, I don't want to take it on, but that's exactly why. That's the reason why it needs to be discussed and why I need to write about it because that means that a lot of folks probably aren't discussing this, and that's why it's still controversial and why it's still scary to say. I wrote a poem about abortion rights, and when I wrote this poem about black bodies looking for abortion, I was really scared about what the repercussions could be, about how people would respond. There's so many violent actions taken against people who are pro-choice, and so I knew that was why the poem was necessary because you have to be pushing back against this fear. We have to resist giving into fear.

You have a chapbook slated for a September 2016 release entitled Blessed Fruit & Other Origin Myths. What will we find inside?
It's a reclamation of the mythology of what it means to be a black Latina in the US and what it means to be black in the Dominican Republic and what it means to reclaim stories of Tainos and the different African groups that were brought to the Dominican Republic. It's all about the mythologies we ignore so it's almost a clapback to Greek myth in some ways in saying that we have our stories, so you'll find a lot of poems about being a girl, about growing into a woman in New York City, about the Dominican Republic, trying to tell all the stories we're often told are not important enough

What do you hope the Latino community ultimately takes away from your art as you continue to use your voice as an award-winning poet?

That there's so many stories for us to tell and that they're worthy of being told, and I think that hopefully they'll take away seeing themselves on the page. For me, that was life changing when I would read stories like The House on Mango Street. When I read Junot Díaz for the first time I yes'd. When I saw In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda, I sobbed to the first song because I think [it's] seeing yourself and all of a sudden realizing yes, this is our story, not just the negative portrayals, but this complicated story. That we are still human beings that are worthy of being written about and written for, I hope that is what they take.

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Tekashi 6ix9ine Identifies Cardi B And Jim Jones As Nine Trey Members And More Takeaways (Day 3)

Daniel "Tekashi 6ix9ine" Hernandez's witness testimony continues to shock the masses. On Thursday (Sept. 19), the rapper took the stand again to elaborate on his kidnapping as well as interviews he gave about his broken relationship with members of the Nine Trey gang.

Interviews by Angie Martinez and Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club were analyzed due to the rapper's subtle jabs towards his former manager Shotti and defendant Anthony "Harv" Ellison. 6ix9ine's social media personality was also broken down as he explained the definitions of trolling and dry snitching.

But perhaps the most questionable part of his testimony arrived when he name-dropped Cardi B and Jim Jones as members of the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods.

Below are some of the biggest takeaways from today.

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Day 3 1. Tekashi Claims Cardi B And Jim Jones Are Members Of Nine Trey Gang

Hernandez provided context to a wiretapped conversation between alleged Nine Trey godfather Jamel "Mel Murda" Jones and rapper Jim Jones. Complex notes a leaked 'individual-1' transcription revealed who appeared to be Jim Jones. During Mel Murder and Jim Jones conversation, the two discussed Hernandez's status as a Nine Trey member.

"He not a gang member no more," Jones reportedly said. "He was never a gang member. They going to have to violate shorty because shorty is on some bullshit." Hernandez went on to identify Jones as a "retired" rapper and a member of the Nine Trey.

Prosecutors play phone call between Nine Trey godfather Mel Murda and rapper Jim Jones. Tekashi says Jones is in Nine Trey.Jones: "He not a gang member no more. He was never a gang member. They going to have to violate shorty because shorty is on some bull--it."

— Stephen Brown (@PPVSRB) September 19, 2019

When it comes to Cardi B, the rapper named the Bronx native as a Nine Trey member. He was also strangely asked if he copies Cardi's alleged blueprint of aligning herself with gang members in her early music videos. "I knew who she was. I didn’t pay attention,” he said. In a statement to Billboard, Atlantic Records denied 6ix9ine's claims that she was a member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. 

In a now-deleted tweet on her official Twitter account, Cardi B responded to the allegation writing clarifying her affiliation, “You just said it yourself…Brim not 9 Trey. I never been 9 trey or associated with them.”

2. Tekashi Defines The Term "Dry Snitching"

In a quick back and forth with AUSA Micheal Longyear, the rapper gave an odd definition of dry snitching. He also made it clear that he was open to becoming a witness to reduce his prison sentence.

Q: Who is Jim Jones?#6ix9ine: He's a retired rapper.Q: Is he a member of Nine Trey?A: Yes.

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 19, 2019

3. Tekashi Was Willing To Pay Hitmen $50,000 To Take Out Friend Who Kidnapped Him

Shortly after he was kidnapped by Harv, the rapper went on Angie Martinez to slam those in his camp. Without saying names, Hernandez promised he would seek revenge on those behind the kidnapping. The court was then showed footage of the incident which was recorded in the car of Jorge Rivera who was already a cooperating witness in the case. Hernandez reportedly confirmed he wanted to pay a hitman $50,000 on Harv after the kidnapping.

4. He Believed He Was "Too Famous" To Hold Gun Used In Assault Against Rap-A-Lot Artist"

The alleged robbery of Rap-A-Lot artist was brought up once again when Hernandez confirmed that he recorded the incident. A weapon allegedly used in the incident was tossed to Hernandez by his former manager Shotti. When asked why he refused to hold the gun the rapper said, "I'm too famous to get out the car with a gun." As previously reported, the rapper was kicked out of the car after the incident in Times Square and was forced to take the subway back to Brooklyn with the gun.

5. Tekashi May Be Released As Early As 2020

Cross-exam Q: If you get time served you'd get out at the beginning of next year, correct?#6ix9ine: Correct.

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 19, 2019

There's that.

6. Footage Exists Of Tekashi Pretending He Was Dead

Harv's lawyer Deveraux: Do you recall publishing a video pretending you were dead?#6ix9ine: Can you show me? For now, a private viewing.

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 19, 2019

Before wrapping up, the court briefly touched on his trolling ways. From setting up beefs to strange notions like faking his death, the videos were viewed privately.

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Tekashi is seen in Los Angeles, CA on November 8, 2018.
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Nine Trey Trial: 4 Takeaways From Tekashi 6ix9ine's Testimony (Day 2)

The second day of Daniel "Tekashi 6ix9ine" Hernandez's witness testimony provided insight into the handlings of several incidents surrounding the rapper including the attempted shootings of rappers Casanova, Chief Keef and former labelmate, Trippie Redd.

As Complex reported Wednesday (Sept. 18), Judge Paul Engelmayer noted the leak of the rapper's testimony that hit YouTube by way of VladTV. Shortly after, Hernandez explained how the Trey Nine gang began to fall apart–or split into four groups–leaving him to take sides. In the end, Hernandez was robbed and kidnapped by his own manager as video footage revealed. The rapper explained how his initial deal turned into extortion as he provided over $80,000 to the gang.

See more details from the trial below. Hernandez will take the stand again Thursday (Sept. 21).

Day 2 1. Tekashi Arranged A Hit On Chief Keef For $20,000

The hit against Keef was widely reported last year but Hernandez provided clarity to the incident. The rapper admitted to arranging a hit on the Chicago rapper after a dispute over "my friend Cuban," a reference to rapper Cuban Doll. Although Hernandez planned to provide the gunman with $20,000 he paid him $10,000 since the hitman fired one shot and subsequently missed.

2. 6ix9ine Credits Anthony “Harv” Ellison For Barclays Center Shooting 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tr3y (@tr3yway_ent) on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:11pm PDT

Hernandez's brief beef with fellow Brooklyn rapper Casanova sprouted from Cas' diss song, "Set Trippin.'" After hearing it, Hernandez said he was ready to "run down" on the rapper. Seqo Billy tipped him off about Cas' alliance to the Bloods set, the Apes and how they would more than likely retaliate if Cas is harmed.

“There’s a kite out saying if any apes happen to cross ya path to fire on you or anybody around you… smarten up,” Seqo wrote in a group chat presented in court. Ellison allegedly replied, “Apes can fire on this dick… They don’t want to war with Billy’s [Nine Trey]." From there, several shootings took place in Brooklyn with one inside the Barclays Center.

3. Tekashi's Beef With Rap-A-Lot Crew Caused Bigger Fallout With Trey Nine 

Hernandez went on to detail the very complicated story behind his beef with Rap-A-Lot records. The debacle started when Tekashi and the Treyway crew didn't "check-in" with Jas Prince before taking the stage at Texas' South by Southwest in March 2018. The incident was further muffled since Trey Nine members like Ellison and Billy Ato were beefing with Hernandez and Shotti at the time. In the end, Hernadez never performed. His crew would later go on to rob and attack an artist from Rap-A-Lot in New York a month later.

4. Footage of the Robbery/Fight Was Filmed By Hernandez aka 6ix9ine

As he and Shotti fled the scene, Shotti kicked the rapper out the car forcing him to take the train to Brooklyn with a gun in his possession. All of the incidents led up to the kidnapping scenario which Herdanaez claimed was in no way staged.

“I’m pleading with Harv,” Hernandez said. “I’m telling him, ‘Don’t shoot. I gave you everything. I put money in your pocket.’ I told him that I was tired of being extorted.” The robbery/kidnapping was filmed by Ellison but also recorded by Hernadez's driver Jorge Rivera who was already a cooperating witness in the case.

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Jeremy O. Harris Is Prepared To Make You Uncomfortable With 'Slave Play'

September is a tricky time in New York City. Some days the ninth month can be charming with its cool breeze and clear skies, you forget Old Man Winter is three months away. Other days, September is deceitfully chilly dropping 10 or 15 degrees after sunset. You hug yourself to create warmth and to also block shame for not knowing summer has packed its bags. On the fifth day of September in New York’s East Village, the weather, however, is kind. Clouds like stretched cotton balls float through the sky, while the sun peeks through adding just enough heat without being arresting. It was, like Bill Withers described, a lovely day.

The beauty of the weather was only matched by Jeremy O.Harris’ bold yet inviting presence. Wearing head-to-toe Telfar Clemens, the Yale School of Drama playwright mingled with friends, castmates and the press inside the penthouse suite of The Standard. Holding the last puffs of a loosie and a black purse, O’Harris and I make eye contact. He smiles. I wave and a second later he's pulled into another round of congratulations, cheek kisses, and praise.

Such is the life of an award-winning playwright.

Harris’ production Slave Play earned chatter while at the New York Theater Workshop and has since made its way to Broadway, making the 30-year-old the youngest playwright of color to accomplish the feat. Yet before the mecca to the world's theatrical stage, Slave Play merited quite the hubbub and scathing critiques for its plot. Set on the MacGregor plantation in the antebellum south, three interracial couples work through their relationship woes made present by their sexual disconnect.

And that’s all that will be said about Slave Play. The rest must be witnessed to be understood or at least examined. Harris knows the play will make many uncomfortable and he's okay with that. The Virginia native stands at a towering 6-foot-5 and has always known his mere presence was off-putting to some. Add his Afro to the mix and Harris, a black queer man with hair that defies gravity, is too much to digest. Thankfully, he doesn't care.

He walks over to the terrace and we both lean in for a hug but stop prematurely and settle on a professional yet distant handshake.

“Are you a hugger?” I ask.

“Yes,” he smiles.

Relief. Huggers finally able to hug.

O’Harris is pressed for time so we only chat for 15 minutes but we gag over both being Geminis, talk about white discomfort, why, of all names to give a play, was Slave Play the best choice and whether or not white America can fully love black people.

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VIBE: When creating Slave Play was white discomfort ever a thought?

Jeremy O. Harris: I had this moment with someone the other day and we were talking about the importance of mirrors and seeing each other inside the mirrors of the set. Well, the reason the idea came about was because at Yale the theater was in a three-quarter thrust and the second year project is one of the smallest projects to do. The audience, I think, is 70 people every night. It wasn’t a huge audience, maybe 90, I don’t know.

Anyway, it’s a three-quarter thrust. I went to Yale at a historic time. There were more people of color there than at any other time. The craziest thing about the show for me was while watching, I saw all the people of color checking in with one another throughout the play and them having these moments of revelation together and looking at white people like, "Why are you laughing then?"

I make people uncomfortable. I make people who are straight uncomfortable. I feel like everything I do, I do loudly by accident.

What’s your sign? I’m a Gemini.

Oh my God! I’m a Gemini. When’s your birthday? June 2nd.

I'm June 17. (Laughs) I think being a Gemini is also part of why I live loudly. I don’t shy away from who I am. My hair has always been big. People might eroticize my hair or fetishize my hair but they’re still uncomfortable by it because their hair can’t do this. Also, because I went to predominately white institutions as a child, I learned quickly that my intellect made people uncomfortable.

Were you usually the smartest one in the room? Yeah, or at least the teacher would say that. I think part of the problem with growing up in the south is everything is so racialized, even compliments. It would be "he’s smarter than the white kids and the black kids."

Did you have any other names for the play besides Slave Play? For me, titles are what make a play and the minute I thought of this play was the minute I was thinking about all of the different slave films. The first thing I thought about was on Twitter there was this whole discussion about 12 Years of Slave with people saying, "Why do we always have to be in a slave movie?" and then I thought, "Oh, a slave movie. There are so many slave plays...Oh, Slave Play!

There’s a litany of narratives that can come from that and a litany of histories that come from that. I was like, "Let me try and make something that was the end all be all of these histories" for at least me. It doesn’t have to be the end all be all for the next writer who wants to interrogate these similar ideas and similar histories, but it gets to be my one foray into this question.

I saw Slave Play off-Broadway and it was a lot to take in. However, I think the play isn’t so much about interracial relationships as it is white people’s relationship with black people. Am I correct?

I think you are. I’ve never written a play that’s going to be about one thing.

Because you aren’t one thing.

Exactly. One of my professors said the problem with a lot of American writers is that they write plays that function like similies. This is like this, whereas in the U.K. and Europe and a lot of places I love, those places function like metaphors. I wanted to have a play that functioned as a metaphor. So it’s not like, "Being in an interracial couple is like..." It’s "An interracial couple is" and it becomes a container for a lot of different histories and a lot of different confluences of conflict which I think are important.

Relationships can become an amazing space of interrogation for a lot of our interpersonal relationships, our historical relationships and our thematic, deeply guarded emotional truths that we haven’t worked out on a macro, but we can work them out on this microcosm of a relationship in a way like white-American politics and black-American politics are also in this weird symbiotic relationship.

Do you think white America can ever fully love black people?

I think love is something that’s beyond words. I think its something we have to only know in action in the same way that I don’t know if black America will or should ever love white America, do you know what I mean? How do you love something that’s harmed you so deeply?

Super facts.

But then again, if we’re using relationships as metaphors, [then] we’ve seen people try and make sense of that love in a lot of different ways. You see black America’s relationship to capitalism, which is something that benefits whiteness more than it could ever benefit us, yet there is this sort of weird romance that happens in so much of our music. So much of our literature and so much of our art, with the idea of capitalism even with its own interrogation and criticisms. But there is this weird push and pull. It’s similar to someone who’s in this battered relationship with an ex-lover.

I read you didn’t expect to receive so much criticism from the black community. How did that make you feel? 

It made me feel sad and reflective in a lot of ways. I wanted to make theater for a certain audience and, for me, the best vehicle for making theater for that audience was the Internet. I was like, "How can I flood the Internet with these ideas about what my plays are so I can maybe get a new audience into the theater with more excitement?" And that worked in a certain way. What I didn’t take into account was that I basically asked everyone to learn how to ride a horse bareback without ever learning the fundamentals of riding a horse.

People were interrogating the ideas on the Internet of what this play might be without an understanding of how the theater functions, and so I think that made them feel very displaced from what this play was, and when you feel displaced from something you have to react to it. I don’t blame anyone for their reactions to the title or the images they saw. Some of those images aren’t images I would’ve ever wanted people to interrogate without the context of the theater. In hindsight, I now know, like, "Okay, cool." I do this experiment and I saw some of the false positives of it and I saw the actual positives of it and now I can move on and keep building and repair the relationship. I get to now watch it with more careful eyes.

What questions do you hope white people ask themselves?

I think the whole play is about: how can people listen in a way that’s not shallow but deeply? I think at this moment a lot of white theater audiences believe they’re listening deeply to the black artists that are having this moment right now. But I think when you read the words they write about it, and the quickness with which they have an opinion about it, you recognize they’re not listening deeply. So quickly they’re telling us what they think we said and it’s like, "No, take a second, and let us speak on it." Take a step back.

Slave Play is playing at the John Golden Theater. Get your tickets here.

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