POST: 'Pipeline' - crying out for help

What's it about?

A school teacher tries to fight for her Black son who is going to be held accountable for attacking his teacher, after he was singled out in class to answer questions that were stereotypical and racially motivated (in regards to Black men).

What I experienced?

Notes that I wrote immediately after leaving the play:

  • Gwendolyn Brooks Poem, “We Real Cool”.
  • The Native Son book by Richard Wright.
  • Find the source of the Black man’s rage and why they fight.
  • Why is there so much anger and why is there so much misplaced pain?
  • Does pain and frustration justify violence?
  • Looking for changes outside-in = invalid.
  • Looking for changes inside-out = valid.
  • What has the world already predisposed the Black man with?
  • “We”
  • “Tame”
  • “Black”
  • “Rights”
  • What is an animal?
  • Find all that is synonymous with the word beast… BLACK MAN DOES NOT POP UP.
  • What is the “Token Black Guy”?
  • Importance of the father in their child’s life.
  • Importance of the mother in their child’s life.
  • Importance of the school system in the child’s life.
  • Importance of society’s role in the child’s life.
  • Importance of self worth in the child’s soul.
  • The difference between financial stability, physically being somewhere, and spiritually being present.
  • There is a source to everything.

On this day, it was the 4th of July, I purposefully chose to see something that would feed my soul. Pipeline on this day was my BBQ, my mac n’ cheese, my collard greens, my mashed potatoes, my complete plate of soul food. For my Nigerians, Pipeline was my suya, my jollof rice, and my plantain with eggs. Yeah, this play was that important. Last but not least, this play was my personal Macy’s fireworks for the day. I laughed, shed tears, and shook my head with “ummhmm’s” coming out of my mouth every second in agreement to what was being spoken through the characters’ mouths and actions.

To be a Black mother raising a Black son is not easy, I am a witness to that. You fear how the world looks at your child, and try to do everything to make sure that they become just as respected as their white brother. But what do you do when you’ve done all that you can as a parent, and your child is still acting out in school, finally reaching their third strike? You find the source of this pain and face it in order to heal. Your Black child is not an animal, or a beast, or a nuisance. They are simply crying out for help. The violence is inexcusable! But a byproduct of something deeper. At the end of the play, that is exactly what I learned from Omari, his mother Nya, and those who has helped shape this young Black man.

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What did you experience?

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