Flip the Script Friday: Black Lives, Black Words – Part III

This semester is officially in the books, as I proctored my students’ final on Wednesday, finished all the grading on Thursday, and submitted the grades today, so hopefully I can get back to writing and blogging some more.

I realized that I’ve had Black Lives, Black Words out from the library since last summer/fall or something, and haven’t gotten a chance to finish it, so here’s to wrapping up reading it and highlighting some of the interesting pieces in another edition of Flip the Script Friday.

In This Bitter Earth by Harrison David Rivers, two young men – Neil, white, and Jesse, black – are at a protest in memory of Trayvon Martin. Neither intended to be there, but they ended up there anyway. Neil ends up with a megaphone in his hand, and thrust atop a platform, so he does the first thing he can thing of, which is to recite a poem by black poet Essex Hemphill. At first, Jesse is offended, but as they say the words in a combination of call-and-response, alternating lines, and together, there is a strange, uneasy moment that may or may not be peace, before the sound of protestors are heard. I think that this would be interesting on some sort of moving platforms – up and down, to reflect the power dynamic between white male voices and black male voices in society. Think cherry pickers or something. That would be something worth staging and seeing.

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