Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s Black Pearl Sings!
is a play come as a warning shot foretelling the modern-day recording
industry (such as it is) and its sad history of theft by corporate
henchmen. More obviously and tellingly, the play is
also a dance of race relations, race politics and the sometimes
heartbreaking history of relationships between black and white women.
What work ethic I have — especially the stamina and energy to plow through until the end — I got from her. Our mother never stopped. My three blood siblings and the four stepchildren she raised can all attest to the fact that she never stopped parenting us.
LaSalle High School is in denial about its drug problem. Anytime students stupidly decide to
trick an armed drug dealer with counterfeit money, all kinds of
socioeconomic and chemical problems are in play beyond the pranksterism
and tomfoolery of bored white teenage boys.
Every single time Carol and Clyde or Rob
and Cammy blankly read the teleprompter, telling us of yet another
black-on-black murder, then move to the weather or traffic, I sit
quietly devastated. I am not ashamed to tell you that sometimes I cry.
Though Norwood is merely five miles north
of downtown’s city center, it may as well be smack dab in another time
and another place with its barely-there lane lines, its
shameful-but-glaring classism and racism for a city its size and its
perpetually broke and broke-down demeanor.
We can wake up and be poor,
under-educated and -employed, invisible during the “conversation” around
representation in the rarified air in corporations, education, sports
management and ownership. Meantime, we’re constantly being objectified.
It’s 2013 already. The rate at which calendar pages blow
past means there’s not enough time to school you on the ever titillating
suffixal differences — which are also cultural and racial — between the
-er and the -a. White folks want to say the word soooo badly it’s funny.
The end is an equation with a repeating decimal. Worse yet, the end is like spending
decades watching a television stuck on a channel broadcasting shows with
dreadful, predictable endings, yet living another day to watch those
same shows again.