I saw it and I was so appalled that I started to bolt shortly after the show began. I was in shock at the portrayal.
I wanted to immediately open my program to see what kind of person was so callous and disrespectful of this utter tragedy that they could dare to tell it with singing and dancing. I sat through it.
I was so tense and taut with anger that I felt myself frowning throughout the show. It got worse as it went on and on top of that there was a woman on the set who had no speaking role until the very end of the show when they turned her into Rosa Parks as she refused to get up on the bus. As if that redeemed the minstrel show.
The mostly white audience gave the cast a standing ovation at the end. I was trying to understand why? There is a tremendous disconnect between black and white folks if a primarily white audience thought this was a good telling of this sad story.
I stayed because I didn’t want to walk out on the black men in the cast. I hope that they will be able to take this experience on Broadway and find a role that will make them proud of their work.
Susan J. Eddington is president and chief thought leader for IMAGES-IMAGES, Inc., a marketing communications and management consulting firm. An accredited public relations counselor, she is currently studying media psychology for social change. To contribute to the images portrayed of African Americans in the media, Susan created “The Power of Two Together”, a campaign to identify and salute African American married couples whose relationship reflects the benefits of commitment and shared success. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook page for TogetherNation.