Unqualified Praise

Praise for August Wilson just keeps coming—even from white people!

The play Gem of the Ocean was…amazing. I’ve never seen anything by the author, but the older black couple next to us have seen four of his plays, and thought this was the most powerful. The author, Anton August Wilson, is (was—I believe he passed away last year) a black playwright, and his plays are about black people. I have no problem with that. The story was about people, in this case black folk at the turn of the century in Pittsburg, PA, dealing with the issues of being free (that’s a poor summary, but that’s all I can do without trying to get into all the plot points). It was a difficult time for these people.

I’ve highlighted some of the choice phrases. It reads as if the authors of Black People Love Us started writing a theatre column.

Bonus Points: Less offensive, but no more intelligent, is this endorsement of Gem of the Ocean from across the pond:

The play was pretty good—it was part of a series of plays Wilson wrote about black people in different decades of the 20th century. This play was set right around the turn of the century I think and was about reconstruction and internal racism.

But any pretense of cultural respect goes away in the next paragraph.

We’re going to see a play about Jewish something or other called 2000 Years.

I can’t wait!

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