Houssaynatou @ 'BLKS' - nothing was held back

What’s it about?

What are best friends for? Three strong women try to navigate life in one of the country's most diverse and roughest cities: NYC.


My Experience.

I decided to take a chance on seeing a show during Ramadan, though many asked how I could possibly see a play late at night while fasting. My answer was that life does not stop simply because of a holiday, and my body has adjusted to fasting during the month of Ramadan. The thought of having little to no energy does not cross my mind at all. So, here we go.

I saw BLKS at 7pm—right after work—on a day when I had gotten up at 5am. Though I did have a couple of stomach growls during the day, I knew I could make it through. What I was not expecting (and did not realize at the time) was that the time to break my fast—8pm—would come during a show that was two hours long with no intermission. So there I was, sitting in the audience watching the show, knowing that it was time to break my fast and eat, even though I couldn’t. But your girl held it down and survived until the end. When it finished, I zoomed out of that theatre so fast and booked it to the nearest place that sold full meals. I was just ordering anything I craved. I had myself a feast. One of the downsides of fasting is that you crave any and everything, and then when it's time to eat, after a couple of bites you’re full. There is not much room in your stomach after you have deprived it of food; it shrinks. The science behind it is quite fascinating.

Anyways, back to the show! I wanted to see this show because (once again) it was a cast of diverse people and it was written by a black playwright. At this time those are the only shows I'm interested in because I want to compare them with shows I’ve seen that are the opposite (i.e. white cast and playwright). I was super-pumped going into this theatre to see the show, but it was not what I expected. So many F-bombs, tons of yelling and a lot of provocative scenes. I literally was cringing in my seat. For example, in one scene Octavia (one of the three main characters) needed a sexual act performed on her before she got surgery to remove a cancerous mole, lol. Her partner could not do it because they had broken up, so the only option was a random dude she met at a club…even though she was a lesbian. Mind you, this scene was so vivid. Nothing was held back. I heard the moans, growls and more. It was so striking because during Ramadan, you’re not supposed to participate in or witness any sexual activity. You also must abstain from cursing or talking badly about others. During such a holy month you must try to be as pure as possible. I guess today's show made me less pure. Sorry, God!

Slowly, as time went on, I could piece together the moral of the story line: being young, black and female in America is no easy ride. It was hard to relate to that struggle because I have not experienced it in the same way, and I hope I never will. I don't want to come off as selfish, but I wonder, should all black people experience what other black people experience? My answer to that is no, but I have had my fair share of backlash simply because I could not always relate to the struggles of other black people. I was called “bougie,” “white girl,” “fake” and more. It did affect me, especially when I was younger, but I never apologized for it because my parents strove to give me a life without struggles. And for that I will be forever grateful. That being said, as I got older I saw the realities of how others with my skin tone truly lived and it was heartbreaking. 

My mission in present-day life is to help those who did not have the opportunity to help themselves simply because of something they have no control over. My current position as an AmeriCorps service member, where I’m performing an entire year of service, has helped shed a light on my career path. Public service is what I enjoy doing and it brings me immense fulfillment that cannot compare to anything else. 

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