We can all agree that the conclusions of Beneatha’s Place, both dramatic and thematic, make the play as a whole a satisfying contrast with Clybourne Park, if not yet its equal. The jury is still out on this coupling, however. I predict much greater success for it if Kwei-Armah, a man who seems incredibly busy on two continents, can find the time to work the kinks out his half of the pair. Paradoxically, the less slavish his adherence to Norris’s template, the greater the likelihood his play will be invited along on Clybourne Park’s victory lap.
Posts Tagged ‘restrictive covenants’
In my mind’s eye, I’m walking that two-block long stretch of 31st Street in blistering, shimmering, soul-annihilating heat. And instantly, the song that comes to my mind is Santana’s Eternal Caravan of Reincarnation. Never have I heard a number that so vividly conveys sheer atmospheric heat.
To the audiences thronging recent New York productions of The Common Pursuit and Clybourne Park, any effort by the playwrights to make a “just distribution of good and evil” would surely have seemed both unpalatable and dishonest. And the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man [sic] shows the dangers of labeling choices and characters too confidently.
To me, proof exists that the future can be different. The Emancipation Proclamation, Brown, the Civil Rights Acts, and the creation of a society that could elect a mixed-race president are not just American achievements; they are major human achievements. They themselves embody but also point further down the path we as a species are following: gradually reconfiguring our psyches to recognize but one race and one tribe: human.