Archive for plays

The Strength Of Mother Africa (Soliloquy for female)

Posted in Love, poetry, prose, relationships, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by blackstarr

 

            This is a play about a Black woman, a mother, a lover.  She finds that for whatever reason, she is about to lose her man, her family, her life.  If we should assess our situations, and find ourselves not unlike this Black woman, it may be well worth our time to give the answers that she gives.

(She turns to the right, as if looking up a set of stairs.)

            “No – you’re not getting anything else to drink tonight.  Now, close your eyes and go to sleep.  Good – I love you, too”.

(She turns to the front of the stage and pauses.  She takes a deep breath as if getting herself together.  She wipes her eyes with a tissue that is in her hand, and then turns left to face the man who is seated at the nearby table.)

            “I can’t begin to tell you how I feel.  Just what the hell is it that you want?  Am I a disappointment to you?  Do I nag too much?  I try my best to be the woman that makes you happy, but with all my efforts, the best you can do is stay in the streets.  Well, this is for you”.

(She balls up the wet tissue and throws it at the man)

            “Those are the last of my tears.  I refuse to cry another drop.  Don’t think for one minute that my tears are a sign of weakness.  Those tears are the emotions that come from my heart.  I am not weak, I am strong.  I am the pride of Mother Africa, and the most extreme conditions only serve to make me stronger.  So, if you think that I am going to fall apart, if you think that I’ll just roll over and die . . . think again.  I am the woman who loves you.  I need you, and you need me.  You have two children up those stairs who think the world of you, and you still can’t be happy.

You might as well start smiling, because this is where you belong, and this is where you’ll stay.  Is there another woman out there that you think can make a better home for you?  I never thought that you’d cheat on me, and, right now, I still don’t think it can happen.  But, on the outside chance that there is another woman, be advised that you belong to me.  You tell that wench that I will bring her mad drama!

That’s always the first thing that comes to mind.  I suppose that the streets and you so-called friends can try to take you, as well.  Have you forgotten who I am?  I am the woman who has been at your side through it all.  When Mister Charlie said he didn’t need you anymore, it was this Black woman who went out and got a job.  It wasn’t because I was hungry – it was because you are my man.  Who cries in your place when your macho standards hold your tears inside?  Who hurts with you when prejudice tries to make you believe that you’re less than a man?  Tonight, I remind you . . . in case you’ve forgotten.”

(She raises her hand in a “Don’t speak!” manner, and then runs her fingers across her lips.)

            “These are lips to die for.  These are the lips that kiss away the pain when you think life’s not worth living.  They speak the words that make your heart sing, words like ‘I love you’.  When passion comes to play, these lips glide across your body, and send you into ecstasy.”

(She smacks her hip with her right hand.)

            These hips are strong.  They bore babies for you, and they still rotate like the earth on its axis.”

(She cups her breasts with both hands.)

            “These are the breast that fed Mother’s Milk to your children.  I know that they hang a bit more than they used to, but, even now, when your hands caress them, it’s you who breaks out in a cold sweat.  It’s your moans that echo into the night.”

(She sweeps her arm the length of her body.)

            “Black man . . . tell me you don’t want some of this, and you can walk out that door and never look back.  I won’t lift a finger to stop you.  But, the, again, I won’t have to, because you know you can’t walk out on this.”

(She walks over to the chair where the man is seated, and lifts one foot onto the chair beside him.)

            “I get older with each new day, but I keep myself desirable for you and only you.  Touch this skin and tell me that you are leaving me.  I defy you.”

(She returns her foot to the floor and kneels beside him.  She grabs his hand and holds it to her heart.)

            “Touch my heart and tell me that you can’t feel the love that waits for you, and I will set you free.  My heart beats only because there is you.  You can’t find a woman who loves you more . . . because she doesn’t exist.”

(She rises and walks back to center stage.)

            “Yes – my body is worn and I have seen a few years, but I am no where near finished.  I don’t have to beg you to stay.  If you leave, there will be another to take your place, and willingly.  But, that’s not going to happen.  Understand that I am not begging you – I’m just trying to make it plain.  You belong to me.  If there is no other woman, then you tell the streets that they can’t have you either.  Do the streets keep you warm at night?  Do they feed you when you’re hungry?  Do they love you when that need comes over your body?  No?  I thought not.  Well, they can’t have you.  I refuse to let you go.  You’re a good man.  If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have to leave.  I’d walk out the door my damn self.  But, you’re a good man, with a good mind, and a good heart.  This body, this mind, this heart . . . they draw their strength from Mother Africa.  Nations have conquered every part of her, and she has managed to survive.  She has managed to thrive.  As she is strong . . . so . . . am . . . I, and I will not be defeated.”

(She begins picking up clothes from the backs of chairs.)

            “I’m done.  My ranting is over.  I’ve already bolted the front door.  Don’t think that puts you on lockdown.  I’d be the last woman to try and kill your spirit and freedom which lies within you.  You have a key.  You have both the ability and the right to walk out that door, just like you’ve been doing, lately.  But, hear me, Black man:  I’m going upstairs, and if you know like I know, tonight, and every night hereafter, you’ll be right behind me, to warm my feet and caress my body and to make me understand that . . .

(She touches her finger to his forehead.)

You have not . . . lost . . . your mind!”

(She turns towards the imaginary stairs and walks off the stage.  Fade to black.)

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copyright 1997 blackstarr

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freerealm@gmail.com

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Who do YOU know?

Posted in social commentary, WTG (Walking The Dog) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by blackstarr

Big ups to my daughter for helping to plunge me back into the world of blogging.  Although I haven’t blogged lately, I always have something on my mind that needs to be said.  I have to thank my daughter because of a conversation that we recently shared.  I was trying to relay my extreme disappointment and total disgust at the idea that The NAACP has nominated Tyler Perry for 19 Image Awards.  That’s not just one, not just a few, but 19.  Many.  Plural.  In my humble opinion, that is just downright preposterous.

To my dismay, my daughter surprised me with the answer “Why is that so annoying?  Many people find his plays and works to be a blessing to their lives.  They feel that it has helped them to ‘make it through'”.  What??  Are you kidding me?  Tyler Perry says that.  Mainstream media says that.  I say that most artists who toots their owns horns cannot be taken very seriously.  We all know how the media has a knack for presenting information in a more than distorted slant.  So, I posed a question to her:  Who do YOU know that feels that way?  We danced around that idea for a minute or two, and by the end of the conversation, that question had never been answered.

As true as I am to my own ideals, I like to think that I am not so closed-minded that I cannot fathom that there are those out there who simply adore Mr. Perry.  I don’t deny that.  However, the numbers that I have seen, which are few and far between, have always come from sources that I, for one, can’t believe.  I admit that I don’t have a ton of friends, but, I do have many.  I say with authority that none of them – I repeat – none of them – have anything favorable to say about Tyler Perry’s work.  Not one of them has said that his art has changed their lives.  Perhaps it’s just too true that “birds of a feather” really do stick together.  Along with them, I have seen his work and was dismayed, disgusted, and disappointed.  Herein lies the problem – I paid the price of satisfying my curiosity and no matter what I thought of the movie, DVD, or play, the money was spent and nothing on God’s green earth can get it back (not to mention the wasted moments that I will never regain).  In other words, curiosity caused me to support something that I didn’t like.  It’s the blue pill/red pill dilemma all over again, except that there is no blue pill to take back the horror that the red pill has exposed.

I liken the situation to a movie that I saw  years ago entitled “Mission To Mars”.  It was met with much anticipation.  I knew when the movie was being filmed.  I watched every commercial with bated breath.  I could barely wait for the movie to hit the theaters and was in line the day that the movie debuted.  I am an avid sci-fi nut(case), but it was one of the worst movies that I had ever seen.  EVER seen.  The movie, however, grossed over ninety (90) million dollars.  Basically, even though the film was pitiful, once the money has been paid, it’s all over.  This is, in my opinion, no different than what Perry defenders offer up – “But, he’s made millions!”.  Sure he has.  Can it be that, like on so many other occasions, people have satisfied their curiosity, only to find that it wasn’t worth the peek?  I say “It can happen”.

I’m not so sure that my thirst for an answer will ever be quenched.  Can so many people really like him like that?  Do so many people believe that his “art” has been such a blessing to their lives?  I doubt that those questions will ever be answered for me because those who hold the answers are those in whom I have absolutely no trust.  I wish that I could hear it from the masses.  More likely than not, however, when the votes are all in and the answer is a resounding “yes”, I will probably say “Consider the source”.

I will leave you with one last thought:  Meet The Browns.  Every time that commercial comes on, I get just a little bit nauseous.  That is buffoonery and coonery at it’s very best.  It saddens me so because too many Mantan Morelands, and Stepin Fetchits did what they had to do to get us recognized as artists, and we moved on to a day when African-Americans were seen in a better light.  This generation has embraced this new coonery with open arms.  I’m a baby-boomer in the finest sense of the term.  In the 60’s and 70’s I was about as radical as one could be.  I took every opportunity to take part in any demonstration that was for the betterment of mankind.  We, the baby-boomers, fought long and hard to get the “n” word and the “b” word removed from our conversations.  We ventured out into unknown, uncertain, off-the-beaten-path movies to dispel the notion that the only thing that African-Americans can do is jig.  As  The Field Negro says “The jigging must stop”.  This generations seems to be taking a step back saying “Oh, it’s not that bad”.  “To each his own” is an honorary credo, but there has to be limits.  Seriously, though – Meet The Browns???!!!  What kind of nonsense has Tyler Perry spawned?

The Tyler Perrys of the entertainment world will never cease to be.  Their knack for charming the masses is ever-present.  I can barely fathom the idea that the masses are so drawn to them in such a manner.  I choose to believe that it is merely a case of  ‘pay me first, then see if it’s worth it’.  Yeah – I said that I am not so ‘closed-minded’, but truth be told, like an ostrich with its head deeply buried beneath the ground, I will go down fighting believing that this man’s art is worthless.

So, I ask “Who do YOU know”?  Peace.

copyright 2011 blackstarr

freerealm@gmail.com